In Brief:

SG Senate meeting brief, but topics discussed

At the Student Government meeting that lasted less than an hour and a half Tuesday night, a bill was passed to allow Supreme Court more time to deal with court cases involving elections.

Senator Brandon Faza proposed an amendment to the SG Constitution that would affect how future student body presidential run-offs would be run. If passed, it would allow the SG Supreme Court to postpone the run-off election until after Spring Break if there are court cases affecting the election.

In the recent presidential election the eligibility of the Maxon Victor and Sameer Ahmed ticket was officially decided at the 11th hour before the runoff election was held. If they had been deemed ineligible before that runoff the ticket of Brandon Faza and Brittany Link would have replaced them on the ballot. Faza’s proposed legislation would give the Supreme Court the option of taking more time to decide court cases dealing with elections.

Senator Frank Harrison proposed a resolution for the senate to proclaim its support of Florida House Bill 891. The bill would exempt Florida students from state taxes on textbooks and other supplies required for courses. That resolution was passed by acclimation.

Faculty Senate meeting runs out of time for A+ debate

The faculty senate held their monthly meeting yesterday at the Florida Mental Health Institute.

Faculty Senate President Susan Greenbaum and Faculty Union President Roy Weatherford spoke against Florida House Bill 837. They pointed out that the bill would essentially curtail academic freedom by putting limitations on what professors can and can not say for the purpose of promoting a friendlier learning environment.

“It is quite a change from the days of my youth when the left wing was trying to force their way into the classroom; now the right wing is trying to force their way into the classroom,” Weatherford said.

The faculty senate voted to award both Carol and Frank Morsani honorary USF degrees. The Morsanis are best known for their endowments to the Tampa Performing Arts Center.

Senate President Pro Tempore Hampton Dohrman presented Student Government’s grading scale proposal. The proposal, if passed by the faculty senate, would make A+ grades worth 4.33 quality points versus the current 4.00 that they are worth now. The proposal would be non-retroactive and GPAs would be capped at 4.00.

Time was running short for the meeting and Dorhman’s presentation was abbreviated so that he could take questions from faculty senators and address their concerns.

Even with such little time to work, the faculty senate didn’t take long to get into a lively debate.

Faculty senators raised a variety of concerns they had over the proposal.

One faculty senator said he worried that students would look for “Mickey Mouse” courses to get an A+ and bolster their GPAs.

After the meeting Dohrman said that is something that already happens.

Faculty senator Chin-Tang Liu from the St. Petersburg campus expressed concern that students would seek out professors who offer an A+ grade over professors who don’t.

Former Faculty Senate President Gregory Paveza had a different idea of what to do with the A+.

“Maybe what we need to do is to do away with the A+ and simply terminate at the A,” Paveza said.

He then motioned to amend the proposal into a completely different proposal to get rid of the grade of A+.

The meeting ran out of time and the proposal and the motion to completely change it were both tabled until the Faculty Senate meeting on April 20.

“We’ve got some good feedback and we’ll start to address as many concerns as we can in the meantime,” Dohrman said.

Board of Governors meets on campus today

The Board of Governors is meeting on USF’s campus today for the first time ever. The meetings move to a different state university each month. The BOG makes decisions affecting all of Florida’s public universities.

The BOG will start its day at 8a.m. in a workshop that will run until 1:30 p.m. At that workshop they will discuss their overall academic plan for Florida’s universities. A formal three hour-long meeting at 2p.m. will follow. This provides the BOG with an opportunity to meet and vote on issues.