Election season is upon Student Senate, and new election rules have been approved.
The 2012 election rules revisions had four goals: to allow for and to promote creative campaigning, to reduce social media confusion, to make election results verification process more efficient and to “clean up” the election rules.
“I think the changes that were made will make a positive impact on elections in the future,” Sen. Sean Walsh said.
The new rules are effective for the upcoming executive and at-large senate races. With the changes, candidates will now be allowed to campaign during voting, to alter their campaign material and to pursue mailbox stuffers through the Residence Hall Association.
After confusion surrounding social media last year, the Election Commission has decided that this year, e-mails sent via Facebook notifications will no longer count as solicitation.
Results of the election will be announced a little differently. Tentative results will be announced shortly after voting has ended, but official results will not be posted until 24 hours after the election.
Lastly, the Election Commission will only review complaints that could affect election results.
Sen. Amanda Laurent brought up two issues surrounding grading that had been discussed at Faculty Senate. The first was the idea of switching Drake to a plus/minus grading scale.
“The main purpose is to prevent grade inflation,” Laurent said. “It would be an option and not mandatory, but it sounds like a whole grading system would be the exception not the whole.”
Laurent estimated that 90 percent of Faculty Senate appeared to be in support of, or apathetic to the change. Drake stopped having a plus/minus grading system in 1950.
Laurent and other senators were not initially supportive of the idea. Sen. Kayleigh Koester said that the grade inflation issue needed to be dealt with on a class-by-class basis.
“Grade inflation is a problem, but I’m not convinced it’s a problem at Drake,” Koester said. “If we do decide grade inflation is an issue, it needs to be dealt with in the grade system posted in the syllabus.”
Sen. Carly Kinzler said that there are other alternatives to dealing with grade inflation.
“I feel that adding a plus/minus system would make students focus on their actual grade rather than actually learning,” Kinzler said. “That’s an issue that needs to be brought up. I think there are other ways to combat the grade inflation issue.”
Laurent encouraged student involvement on this issue.
“I want students to know that we are acting on this and we want their opinions,” Laurent said.
The second grading issue discussed was Drake’s replacement grading policy. Currently, students can retake a course for a better grade without it affecting their grade point average. The better grade is posted on the student’s transcript, but the fact that they retook the class is noted. However, faculty is concerned how the current policy could affect students when they apply for graduate schools.
In funding allocations, two campus organizations were approved for upcoming events.
Colleges Against Cancer was allocated $1,232.50 to cover equipment, henna supplies and police and security costs associated with Relay for Life.
The South Asian Student Association was allocated $1,350 to cover bus rental costs associated with attending the Nachte Raho dance competition.