Senate elections, bad advising reform

The student Senate elections are currently underway. Voting will take place online at starting 8 a.m. Oct. 10 and ending 5 p.m. Oct 12. We encourage everyone to vote and wish the best of luck to all the candidates.

Now let me pose a question: Have you ever felt like VCU took your money and then left you to wander around the bustling, academic labyrinth all alone? Or have you felt like someone was leading you but that person had a blindfold on or kept disappearing before your very eyes? If so, you may want to read further.

One of the leading concerns among students here at VCU is advising. Students have reported that the advising program falls short of their expectations, that they rarely get to see their advisers, and that their advisers have told them to sign up for courses that don’t exist. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that the advising program at VCU is in shambles.

This is why the SGA is pushing to reform the academic advising system for all students. Dr. Jon Steingass, dean of the University College, has outlined a list of proposals including mandatory checkups for students every 30 credit hours. The SGA is currently working on legislation that addresses his ideas. However, we want to hear from you, so we’re having a speak-out event tonight at 8 p.m. in Richmond Salon 1 at the University Student Commons. Come to voice your concerns and share your experiences regarding advising. If you come for no other reason, come for the free pizza!

We are also working with VCU Technology Services to bring free music downloading to students! Currently the student Senate is scheduled to hear a proposal from a company called Ruckus. The presentation will be 4 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Forum Room of the Student Commons.

In other SGA news, last week SGA leadership interviewed Dr. Joseph Morolla, who is a candidate for the position of vice provost for instruction, a position in charge of the quality of teaching at VCU. Dr. Morolla started the Center of Teaching Excellence here at VCU and hopes to improve teaching by implementing a new “Focused Inquiry” class at VCU that will be required for all freshmen that will emphasize critical thinking, reading, writing and analytical skills.

Before closing I would like to mention that starting next week, the SGA Web site will feature a weekly radio address directly on the home page. Hopefully we will expand the address to the VCU radio station and WRIR 97.3 in the near future, so keep reading and stay tuned.

Peter Moody is deputy assistant for communications for the Monroe Park Campus Student Government Association.

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