Senators and prominent guests discussed policies from a pre-approved agenda, questions on campus access, spring parking fees’ reimbursement, and the possibility of grading all students as pass or fail.
The meeting took place on April 7, 2020.
President Morales did not participate. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Shari McMahan, and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Development, Seval Yilderim, along with the deans of various colleges, were in attendance.
Senators and other meeting participants struggled to unmute and mute the microphone for when they were to speak. Quite often, the screen glitched making it difficult at times to hear when a Senator was speaking.
“The technical issues throughout the meeting were as simple as muting/unmuting a mic! I was frustrated when there was a good discussion playing out and someone accidentally went mute. There were long periods of times when the discussions had to stop and tell them to just click the space bar to unmute themselves,” shared a student journalist in attendance, Karina Rodarte.
The pre-approved agenda was given before the meeting to help the senators and guests follow the discussion.
Whether or not to keep the language in a policy that was up for approval was heavily discussed.
In the policy, there was language that stated that interim chairs would not have voting privileges in the department that was not their own.
Senator Lasisi Ajayi expressed wanting to strike this language and, instead, give voting privileges to chairs in departments that were not their own.
Senator Davida Fischman, Senator Dorothy Chen-Maynard, Senator Rong-Chen, and Senator Jill Vassilakos-Long argued against wanting to change the language in the policy.
“Voting is not a thank you gift,” said Senator Vassilakos-Long.
Ultimately, it was voted to keep the original language in the policy; chairs would not have voting privileges in a department that was not their own.
Senators conferred if, for this quarter, students should be given the option to choose to receive a pass or fail grade or letter grade.
“Can we legally do that?” asked Senator Mary Texeria in regards to providing the option for students to pick what grading system they want for this quarter.
Associate Students Incorporated (ASI) President, and senator, Adonis Galarza-Toledo emphasized the importance of thinking about students’ home situations during this time.
“We don’t know what our students are living through when they go back home and don’t even know if they have a safe space for them to sit down and do their homework right, so I think it’s important to remember those kinds of successes when making these decisions,” said Galarza-Toledo.
The senators did not make any official decisions or motions during this meeting in regards to student grading during this quarter. The change to the grading system is still up for debate.
Senators brought up questions to admin and finance about parking for faculty and staff and students during this time.
“Is it true that faculty should not go on campus, let’s say, to fetch something,” asked Senator Rong Chen.
Doug Freer, Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer, clarified that although it is recommended for everybody to come in through booth locations due to many of the campus entrances being restricted, everybody is free to go and park wherever they need to go.
“We’re asking most folks not to come to the campus, except if you really need to come pick up something. We’re asking that you come in, but not to stay on the campus,” said Doug Freer.
Senator Marcia Marx wanted to know how it will go for students who bought parking passes.
Freer affirmed that students should have or will receive a full refund for the spring quarter parking permits, as notified “multiple times” via the student Listserve bought for the spring quarter, if they have not received it already.
“If you do come across someone who needs our assistance, let them know that they could just call the parking office and they’d be glad to help them out with that,” said Freer.
The next meeting will be held April 21, 2020 via Zoom.