Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) has voted to recommend the replacement of the College's current Credit/D/Fail policy with a Grade/Credit/Fail policy. After hearing concerns from students and faculty about the shortcomings of the current policy, BSG members suggested that their support would help the Recording Committee in further discussion and policy revisions.
While Wednesday's vote to recommend such a policy does not endorse a concrete document, it does suggest certain changes BSG feels would be beneficial to students. One change suggested is allowing students to set a lowest acceptable grade that would appear on their transcripts if attained, while receiving a credit or F if the grade is lower.
"This is an issue that involves everyone on campus: faculty, staff, and students," said Sam Dinning '09, a student member of the college's recording committee. If any changes were to be made to the grading system, the Recording Committee would draft the new policy and submit it to the faculty for approval.
"As such, BSG's efforts are focused on speaking from a student's perspective in the greater process. We are not trying to mandate a certain policy; we are simply trying to make the opinions of students clear so that the Recording Committee and other groups of faculty and staff will move forward with students in mind," Dinning said.
BSG President DeRay Mckesson '07 added that BSG is working closely with the Recording Committee to discuss policy changes to "serve the interest of both students and faculty.
"Tonight was the first step with student leaders making a cogent recommendation expressing the sentiment of students about the policy," he said after Wednesday's meeting.
BSG members also discussed the suggested revisions to the campus attendance policy. Proposed by Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster and the Student Affairs Committee, the policy intends to increase communication between faculty and students about scheduling conflicts in the evenings.
Members of BSG agreed that the revisions are more student-friendly, but that faculty might not approve changes unless there is widespread student support. Last week, Foster said that the Student Affairs Committee is still talking with groups on campus about revisions.
"This is a good step in the right direction," said Vice President of Student Government Affairs Dustin Brooks. "It does set a place for student affairs, faculty, and students to come together around an idea for how time should be managed on campus."
The policy might be proposed to faculty in April, possibly followed by a vote in May.
In other business, BSG proposed an amendment to the constitution that would allow juniors who go abroad for a semester to hold half-year terms as student government representatives, calling for an election for a "split seat."
Debate followed regarding how such an election would best be held, how the candidates would run, and whether such an amendment is necessary. It was moved that the amendment be reconsidered next week.
Also, BSG continued its discussion on election reform, debating whether all students should be eligible to run for the BSG presidency, whether elections should be held in the spring or fall, and what type of campaigning should be allowed.
Finally, Vice President of Facilities Will Donahoe '07 said BSG has received approximately 250 suggestions for the "50 Things To Do Before You Graduate" list and is now working on selecting the top submissions.