New Initiatives Discussed in Senate

Public Class Surveys and Possibility of Cutting Majors

Allie Brennhofer

The Student Senate meeting Nov. 19 covered many of the initiatives Senate is trying to introduce to The College of St. Scholastica, such as Swipe Out Hunger, a professional clothing closet, and making class course evaluations public.

At the beginning of the meeting, Minnesota House Representative Tina Liebling spoke to Senate about leadership and prevalent issues affecting the United States and, more broadly, the world. She spoke of the fact that women are less likely to run for office.

“Women wait to be asked. Sometimes they have to be asked multiple times before they run. When women do run, they get elected just as often as men do,” Liebling said.

Liebling also spoke of the importance of getting involved in politics and the community. She talked about the fact that a lot of the things that get done in Minnesota are done by the governor and the legislature.

“We will have to be the leaders that we’re waiting for,” Liebling said.

The remainder of the meeting focused on tasks or ideas Senate wishes to implement, such as reforms to Greenview Dining Room and Storms via a task force, addressing problems brought up by the Board of Trustees representative, Bryan Chavez, such as increasing the retention rate, and making the class course evaluations public.

“All of you right now take the surveys if you want … basically describing how classes went, things you liked, didn’t like, but those results aren’t public, or you’re not aware of what happens with the results. And you never know if what you said is actually going to make a difference in how the teachers are teaching,” President Jason Chavez said.

He went on to say that some campuses are making parts of the results public, which is what prompted this discussion.

“I think it would be very beneficial, at the very least, to have the average of the scores, the one to five scales, public to the students at least. Comments I would maybe keep out because those can be very scathing sometimes,” External Affairs Chair Maggie Beasley said.

After listening to other senators weigh in, Senate reached a general consensus that this was an idea they wanted to pursue. Chavez said they would work on drafting a statement to vote on and let the administration know beforehand.

Board of Trustees representative Bryan Chavez had some topics brought up at the Board of Trustees meeting involving the retention rate of students and the possibility of majors being cut to accommodate the new majors being added.

“They can’t continue to offer more majors without eliminating ones … This is just strategic planning, there’s nothing voted on,” Representative Chavez said.

There was no further discussion of the topic. The meeting concluded with a presentation by Senator Zhara Davies about graduate students’ level of involvement in campus life. Most graduate students, of those surveyed, did not feel very involved.