With only one week separating students from their coveted winter break, members of Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) met one last time in 2011 to finish remaining business from this semester and begin preparations for the coming term. As a result of the meeting, students may soon be able to view their midterm grades regardless of class standing, and student organizations may find ASG’s funding rules clearer.
Off-campus senators Ari Frum, Lizzie Litzow and Peter Dougherty presented a bill supporting midterm grade reports for all Miami students. According to Frum, the current midterm grade report policy only applies to first-year students, meaning there is no requirement for students to be able to view midterm grades if they are not first-year students.
“With this bill you can see where you stand in the middle of the semester and make a decision how to act from there,” Frum said. “There is some incentive for professors to do this. If students see their midterm grades and see they have an F, they’ll most likely withdraw or improve their performance, so the class average grade will go up.”
According to Dougherty, many upperclassmen enrolled in Miami Plan classes are able to view their midterm grades in those courses because of the mixed nature of their class compositions. However, while many Miami Plan course professors calculate midterm grades for entire sections, doing so is solely at their discretion.
“There’s no way we can force professors to put every single grade up and know what your grade is at any given moment, but we can recommend professors do this because it’s much better for both students and professors,” Dougherty said.
According to Dougherty, implementation would be left to individual academic departments.
Student Body President Nick Huber volunteered to bring the issue up when he meets with the Executive Committee of University Senate.
ASG also enacted a major change to its student organization funding cycle. According to Meghan Wadsworth, vice president of student organizations and co-author of the bill, ASG currently has three funding cycles throughout the academic year, with the first and second cycles coming at the beginning of each semester for event and capital funding requests and a third administrative cycle coming at the close of the academic year for student organizations’ administrative requests.
Under the Funding Restructure Act of 2011, the administrative third cycle will be merged into the funding cycle that occurs at the beginning of the academic year. According to Wadsworth, this is intended to alleviate confusion from student organizations, which sometimes get confused when to apply for which types of funding and improves efficiency by moving the underutilized administrative funding cycle.
“This bill could be summed up pretty easily by saying we’re just moving the third cycle up with the first,” bill co-author Dougherty said.
According to Wadsworth, the bill still allows for student organizations to hold events at the beginning of the academic term before the first funding cycle is processed, since the capital for those events will have been budgeted during Cycle 2 (second semester) funding.
“It would be more convenient and help people understand (the funding structure) better,” Wadsworth said.
“I think this is a great bill,” senator Kristina Jiminez said. “It will clear a lot of confusion going on in student orgs, and I know the trustees are very excited to see this happen.”
The bill was passed by unanimous consent. Other business in ASG’s meeting included the passage of a resolution thanking outgoing Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Executive Assistant Steve Synder for his years of commitment to Miami University as he retires from the university.
This reporter also received a quick moment of thanks from Huber and Secretary for Public Relations John Stefanski, as it was his final meeting covering ASG for The Miami Student.