On Tuesday the USF Student Government supreme court ruled that three transfer students seeking eligibility in elections for student senate and executive board will be excluded if their current grade point average is below the minimum USF GPA of 2.0. If the university is going to make decisions about participation based on GPA, there must be one standard. All coursework and academic rating from previously attended universities should be taken into consideration. These students should be given permission to participate in elections if their combined USF and transfer GPAs meet current eligibility requirements.
The SG considers GPA on a clean slate basis, taking all coursework completed at USF and calculating GPA based only on that criteria. The students who took their complaint to the supreme court have had academic difficulties in their first semesters at USF and as a result, don’t meet current requirements. Prior to their attendance at USF, at least two of the students had GPAs that, if combined with their current academic standing, would meet the requirement.
This measure is an attempt on the part of SG to keep those who are not dedicated to their academics away from elected offices. Stopping the problem before it starts is a good strategy and certainly necessary in some instances, but by not including students like these in the elections, they are creating the circumstances for this same argument to resurface in the future.
If non-traditional students were more widely represented, then this requirement might not even be an issue. These students proved their ability to participate on the university level when they were admitted to USF. They will be a much-needed asset considering that they are among the few that can accurately represent the non-traditional minority and should be welcomed with open arms by SG instead of turned away.