SGA: Travel Courses, RASM Duties, Nursing, and More

Lily Richard, Staff Writer

Student concerns with class attendance penalizations, twenty-four-hour RASM duties, travel courses, and the state of Greek life were all discussed at the previous two SGA meetings. 

On September 26, Student Trustee Taylor Hope, 24’, expressed concerns regarding the penalization of students for attendance and confusion around the issue, when asked if anyone had any questions for Vice President Jeannette Smith. In the following meeting on Monday, October 4 this concern was addressed. 

“I brought up the attendance policy penalizations that are happening around campus in a few classes where the attendance policy is very clear that you get class off per credit hour, so if you get 3 credits you get 3 classes off for the semester. But students’ grades are still going down when they’re not showing up for class and that’s making their grades unclear of what their true grades actually are. I talked to VP Smith about that, and she is going to bring it up to whoever is in charge of that system,” addressed President Ian Crombie after meeting with Smith. 

Crombie also addressed in the October 4 meeting, RASM concerns. There have been changes in the schedules, making students work the RASM desks 24/7 and students having to work full schedules out of nowhere. 

“The reason behind the move was because public safety doesn’t have enough staff to run throughout the night, they’re trying to move student interactions to move of student-centered interactions first rather than running to the police when something is wrong during that time of night,” Crombie explained. 

Issues and announcements were also discussed at the October 4 meeting. 

The GPA minimum was lowered from 3.2 to 3.0 in order to reflect some of the challenges of the past few years and the wording of the application was made more flexible to allow the consideration of first-year students. It was also announced that there will be at least $10,000 in travel course-specific scholarship funds for the next academic year and the one after that. As in past years, the scholarship funds will be divided into travel courses based on the overall cost of each course and the number of enrolled students per course. 

However, there are concerns from students who are interested in multiple travel courses, but the meetings and deposit due dates do not line up for all travel courses. The concern from the Gallery suggested they should in the future have all the meetings, deadlines, and scholarship applications for all travel courses lined up. Another concern was the scholarship application being due after the deposits are due is not helpful for students who are financially disadvantaged. 

The state of Greek life was also spoken about by Crombie to Smith, “We also discussed the state of the Greek life committee. There was a consensus among the students of that committee that we wanted to remove Kevin McGraff as chair so it can be a fully current Greek student-run committee because alumni and Greek interests weren’t matching with the current student interests. This will be voted on and they will have to go to the senate to rewrite their purpose as a committee.” 

There is no current vote date. 

On September 26, Executive VP Callie spoke for the Curriculum Committee to discuss thoughts on a Nursing Program for MCLA. 

“Our school has been talking about potentially adding a nursing program that would be a four-year degree, and most liked four-year programs are not in the area, by offering this MCLA, a public liberal arts environment, it could be nationally recognized for improving health care for rural communities experiencing health disparities.” 

They are still working on logistics. The program has only been reviewed in a curriculum-based capacity and has not been looked at in specifics as to where it would be, hiring teachers, etc., and is currently just a conversation. 

SGA has part of their guest speaker list open which includes Director of Civic and Community Engagement, Spencer Moser, on October 17, Senior Advisor for Institutional Equity and Belonging, Christopher MacDonald-Dennis, on October 24, Ara Phoenixx on October 31, President Birge on November 7, and Christopher Hantman and Maple on November 7. 

Meetings are open to anyone every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in the conference room of Murdock.