Previously, on SGA: Extenuating circumstances policy presented


Extenuating circumstances policy proposal
To begin the meeting, vice president Nasim Salehitezangi presented SGA’s suggestions for an extenuating circumstances policy to Jennifer Henderson, interim associate vice president for Academic Issues and Retention. The presentation consisted of ideas formed by senators in the weeks prior, designed to protect students enduring extreme physical and mental impediments during their time at Trinity. Vice president Salehitezangi addressed the faculty handbook and the implications of such a policy on faculty’s exercise of academic freedom; she also explained potential benefits to the university, such as an increased retention rate, an improved four-year graduation rate and overall student satisfaction. Senators then shared their own stories and the stories of friends who had been disadvantaged in the classroom by faculty decisions, some experiences leading to transferring schools or dropping out.

Henderson followed up noting that although the ideas were sound, there are pre-existing resources available to students as well as contractual limitations on the university’s control over how faculty manage the classroom. Henderson suggested that students in need of support during times of need or crisis should reach out to her to work out solutions for issues in the classroom.

Following the presentation and meeting with Henderson, senators discussed alternative routes to ensuring student wellbeing in times of crisis. Adviser Demitrius Brown, Dean of Students, reminded senators of the email sent on Sept. 12 by Sheryl Tynes, vice president of Student Life, outlining resources available to students throughout the semester. Senators then discussed potential ways to make such information more accessible and widely available, including move-in pamphlets for first-years and the addition of such resources to TLearn or TigerPaws. Adviser Brown noted that there are plans to add information on student resources to TLearn in the near future.

Climate check
Junior senator Indigo Pearson started climate check by mentioning student discourse surrounding the mask protocols enforced during Alumni Weekend, Oct. 21-24. Alumni were seen not wearing masks indoors, whereas students are required to wear masks indoors according to ProtecTU policy.

Adviser Brown told senators that the hopes for a Halloween on Oakmont were coming to fruition, with four houses available for student trick-or-treaters. An email was sent the following day to students announcing which houses were available, including Adviser Brown’s.

Sophomore senator Danae Barkocy mentioned student concerns regarding access to course grades. President Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh mentioned that midterm grades had just been sent to students the previous week; senators discussed how such reports are vague and not all professors participate.