Freshman forgiveness to be altered

Heather Scarlett

New policy will have no time restrictions on when a course can be retaken

A new banner system being introduced by the university will change the way student GPAs and freshman forgiveness are calculated.

Faculty Senate discussed the Education Policies Council’s Revision of the Rule for Recalculation of GPA at its regular meeting yesterday. LuEtt Hanson, associate dean of Communication and Information, gave a presentation about the differences between the current and future banner systems and how the change will affect students.

“Right now it is a hard and fast rule (that the) second chance counts,” whether the grade goes up or down, Hanson said. With the new banner system, the standard grade could be set by the faculty, and they could determine how the grade counts into the GPA. This could give faculty more flexibility.

The system of freshman forgiveness, which began in 1981, is meant to give beginning students a second chance. The current policy requires the classes being repeated to have been originally taken within the student’s first 30 attempted hours and retaken within the first 60 attempted hours.

The new system will be specified upon a course-by-course basis and will have no time restrictions. This means a course can be retaken in any term as a make up.

“On principle, I object to us having to fit our needs to the software. It is supposed to be the other way around,” Sen. Pamela Grimm said.

George Garrison, faculty senator in Pan-African studies, said he doesn’t feel the system is student friendly because student opinions may not have been originally included when freshman forgiveness was created.

“I don’t like any of the options,” he said, and he recommended that the NAACP, Black United Students and the Undergraduate Student Senate be involved in a new discussion.

“I think the idea is to encourage the students,” Garrison said, “(and) generate some new options.”

The senate also addressed the issue of domestic partner benefits.

“It is just wrong that the benefits not be extended based on sexual orientation,” said Sen. Mary Stansbury of library and information science.

Gayle Ormiston, associate provost for faculty affairs and curriculum, said in communication between Sen. Thomas Dowd, Cheryl Casper and emeritus President Carol Cartwright in 2005, the Faculty Senate should not be involved in contract negotiations.

Dowd said the memos were meant to apply at that time and not in the future. After a few minutes, the Senate moved to close the discussion for the afternoon.

Near the end of their meeting, the senators went from local to international issues. Garrison suggested letting President George W. Bush know that the Kent State Faculty Senate had concerns about the genocide taking place in Darfur, Sudan. The senators approved the motion.

“(The) request is to send an appeal for this body to the President,” Garrison said.

Contact academic affairs reporter Heather Scarlett at [email protected].