The Jan. 27 SA senate meeting included a presentation on retaining students struggling due to a lack of accommodations and updates on UR Student.
Updates from Dean Donald Hall
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering Donald Hall came to speak to SA on student retention and accommodations. He said that five or six percent each of first-year and sophomore students decide not to return to UR. “There’s some people who run into academic problems,” Hall said, “and we want to address that.”
Additionally, Hall said he is looking into training for faculty on how to help students struggling in their classes and would like to find a way of keeping more dorms and dining services open outside of the regular school year for students who are unable to go home during that time.
On the topic of accessibility, he said that the University has a “master list” of buildings and locations that are not in compliance with standards, and that “one by one, we are going to start prioritizing projects.”
Hall said that he would be interested in hearing ideas from students, particularly about accommodations the University could offer that are not currently available. He also said that he would be willing to accept help from student volunteers once these projects are underway.
Senator senior Tayfun Sahin proposed that a revised version of a bill, written in response to concerns of poor communication between SA leadership and SA senate, be tabled indefinitely. This motion was passed. Because this bill would alter the Senate bylaws, it must be tabled for at least a week before passage to allow for discussion.
Senator sophomore and Academic Affairs Committee chair Ian Krager announced some upcoming events meant to familiarize students with UR Student, the University’s new alternative to some functions of Blackboard and CDCS. He said that there are currently plans to hold a “mock registration event” in March to allow students to get used to the site and that a subcommittee may be formed to gather information for this project.
Krager said that he is currently looking into changing the petition process to retake a course so that it is open to more students. Currently students can only retake a course if they obtained a C- or below in said course.
Administration Review Committee
Senator junior and Administration Review Committee (ARC) deputy chair Akshay Sharathchandra said that ARC will be hiring a new analyst to talk to student groups and help them understand the responsibilities of their eboard, such as what forms they need to fill out.