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The UGC updates and asks for advice from ASUA

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Alan Walsh | The Daily Wildcat Alan Walsh / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Officials in the UA's Undergraduate Council told student leaders they are working to make changes to improve the education of all undergraduate students. 


George Gehrels, a geosciences professor and the council chair, spoke at last night's Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate meeting, and asked attendees to give feedback and advice about various educational elements on campus. 

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While a number of topics were discussed, a few caused greater response than others. 


First was the $25 drop fee that is currently in effect for any student dropping a class after the first week of the semester. Gehrels said that while he is unsure whether the fee is effective — due to a lack of statistics — it will remain in effect for coming semesters.


""All money raised from this will go back into undergraduate education,"" he said. 


Feedback from many senators suggested that fewer students would drop classes if syllabi and booklists were posted on the schedule of classes, thus lessening the need for the fee.


""The classes won't be as much of a surprise and each new element would work in tandem,"" international studies sophomore and ASUA Sen. Katherine Weingartner said.


MOSAIC — the umbrella term for a series of information technology overhauls currently underway — will not only allow students to see a class syllabus and booklist, but also a waiting list for the class, Gehrels said. The Undergraduate Council is working to brainstorm as many new ideas as possible and put them into effect when the new system is ready to be released to the entire campus, Gehrels told the Senate.


The most talked-about subject was the grade replacement option policy, which Gehrels called ""the most contentious topic on campus.""


Instead of having this option — which allowed students to retake a course in order to get a better grade — available, the council would like to implement a new system, somewhere along the lines of ""freshmen forgiveness,"" he said.  This would allow students to adjust to the university level classes, he added, and ""eliminate (the drop fee) in situations where (the GRO policy) doesn't really help students."" 


""What students don't realize is that ‘GROing' a class may not count towards their UA GPA, but when they go to apply for big companies and such, the company will recalculate the GPA and see that you have taken the class multiple times,"" he said. 


Senator Daniel Wallace, a molecular and cellular biology junior, suggested that the council make the pros and cons of this option known to students before they opt to GRO a class.

 


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