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Can your grade change with a plus or minus?

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Photo by Luke Nankivell, photo editor

Plus-minus grading may be coming to Drake University, but not in the near future.

Bruce Gilbert, a representative from Faculty Senate, gave a short presentation on plus-minus grading to Student Senate on Thursday.  The topic was not discussed during the meeting but will be in the upcoming weeks.

The topic was briefly explored last year, and surveys sent out among the faculty and staff. More information gathering and discussion is needed, but the topic could come to a vote at Faculty Senate as early as November. Nothing would be implemented until the fall semester of next year.

However, only Faculty Senate has the power to formally vote and implement a change, with Student Senate only giving their opinion.  Even if Drake chooses to implement plus-minus grading, it would be difficult and wouldn’t be university-wide.

“We have no ability to coerce any professor into doing anything in terms of setting their grading standards,” Gilbert said.  “If we established plus-minus and a professor used the old system, there’s no way to change that.”

In the next month, expect some type of campus meeting, probably town hall style, as a forum for students and faculty to voice their opinions.

Student Senate passed numerous motions Thursday.

Senate approved the establishment of a Drake chapter of the International Trombone Association.  The chapter will not collect dues, but it will fundraise to bring numerous musicians to Drake. Advocates for the chapter who showed up to the meeting stated that establishing a chapter here at

Senate allocated $1,413.49 to DRxUGS, a conglomerate of pharmacy organizations, to put on a Drake Campus Health Fair where they will provide cholesterol screenings and other health screenings to students.  This will benefit the student body as well as provide those working the fair to put into practice the skills they are learning in pharmacy school.

The group Mission of ONE received $506.20 to go to a leadership conference in Boston to learn the fundraising, recruitment, and planning skills to become a successful and thriving chapter at Drake as they are a relatively new organization.

Drake’s Men’s Soccer Club was allocated $101.55 to reimburse them for the gas they used when they travelled to a road game at Graceland University in early September, before the Student Fees Allocation Committee (SFAC) was established for the year.

The business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi) was allocated $3,550 in order to host their Big Dream Event and open it to the rest of campus.  The Big Dream event brings in a motivational speaker and participants bring a goal, or a dream, and a plan to do it, and then everybody walks around and offers advice and contacts to help them fulfill that dream.  This vote was the only vote not to be passed unanimously, with senators Josh Schoenblatt, Stephen Slade, James Ley, and Dan Pfeifle voting no, and senators Ekta Haria and Zach Keller abstaining.

The Board of Trustees will be meeting on campus this week during Homecoming.

Senators Rebecca Mataloni and Ley are the Student Senate nominees for homecoming court.

The First-Year Senator election is this week and is expected to result in a run-off.

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