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SG Resolution 8 paves way to stance on grading scale

With the passing of Resolution Six in the Student Government senate last week, the senators supporting the resolution moved to create Resolution Eight. The original resolution established SG’s position on the plus/minus grading scale, asserting that professors who teach different sections of the same course should, “be accountable in using the same grading-scale policy for all course selections,” consequently removing any favoritism toward any particular instructor from the students.

Resolution Eight had its first reading Tuesday night at the SG senate meeting. It extends upon Resolution Six, stating that, “Student Government … supports provisions for the current grading scale to be amended to allow for the A plus grade … ” It emphasizes awarding students who receive A pluses with quality points, like for other “plus” grades. The resolution states that a student’s grade point average could not, however, surpass a 4.0.

“A pluses are used commonly across the country,” said David Hoffman, Faculty Senate liaison and sponsor of Resolutions Six and Eight. “But professors are more concerned with preventing grade inflation,” Hoffman said.

Frank Harrison, student concerns chair and resolution sponsor, said he hopes this information will influence students to support the resolution. As the grading scale now stands, students do not receive quality points for A pluses, only for B pluses and so on.

“It is important to know that if a student has all A pluses and one A minus, it is impossible for that student to graduate with a 4.0 (grade point average),” Harrison said. “Resolution Eight would help balance out the GPA, allowing students to graduate with a perfect GPA.”

Resolution Eight will not be retroactive, which means that students who have already obtained A pluses in past semesters will not have their grades changed to accommodate the new provision.

“A lot of research has gone into preparing this resolution,” Hoffman said Hoffman.

If passed, this resolution, along with Resolution Six, will be presented to the Undergraduate Counsel, a board comprised of students and faculty of the undergraduate college.

Hoffman is optimistic about their proposal.

“We’re taking a small step in order to do something to help students that the faculty will accept,” Hoffman said.

According to Harrison, several faculty members, including Honors College Dean Stuart Silverman, have openly supported their proposal.

Harrison said students are welcome to attend the senate meeting and voice their concerns.

“All students are invited to open forum to give us feedback, and we also have a feedback link on the SG Web site,” he said.