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Admissions rules face scrutiny

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, November 8, 2005

The question of how to attract more applicants to Saint Mary’s – a recurring concern for the College – sparked discussion at Monday’s Board of Governance (BOG) meeting.

Admissions Commissioner Annie Davis spoke to and sought feedback from the Board about potential changes in the College’s admissions policies.

Davis reported that the Board of Admissions had suggested, but has not approved, two initiatives aimed to increase the number of applicants and excite prospective students about Saint Mary’s.

The first objective would be to calculate a student’s cumulative ACT score through the combination of her best performance on each of the four sections of the test, rather than through assessment of the best mean score, Davis said. This is an effort to increase the student’s average score, which would allow her to receive a larger scholarship.

During the admissions process, the College does not include religion courses taken by a student when factoring an alternative grade point average (GPA) based solely on her academic courses, such as math and English, Davis said. The Board of Admissions has proposed to now include religion courses as a part of this GPA. But this change would not impact a student who has not taken any such course.

Davis said these efforts would be used as promotional tools to alleviate concerns voiced by parents who wondered why their daughter’s religion courses were not factored into the revised GPA.

Some BOG members were reluctant to support the proposed changes, saying these policies would prove unappealing to students who attended public school.

“I don’t think it is fair,” BOG Chief of Staff Monica Lindblom said. “Admissions are being judged in two different ways.”

Junior Class President Heidi Goeppinger disagreed with Lindblom.

“This is not meant to be a spirituality thing,” she said. “Religion is an academic course and [students] should get credit for it.”

Student body president Kellye Mitros also agreed with the Board of Admissions’ recommendations.

“I remember thinking to myself, why would I waste eight hours [of courses] that mean nothing when I go to college?” Mitros said.

Davis said that she would take the Board’s ideas back to Admissions for further evaluation of the proposed policy changes.

In other BOG news:

u An increased anticipation for Saint Mary’s Heritage Week, scheduled for the second week of January, was apparent as Mitros reported on the progress of the event’s planning.

“We are hoping to make this a whole week of spirit,” Mitros said. “It will be an event filled week that celebrates our pride and heritage.”

Prior to the meeting, Mitros and the Heritage Week board met to detail the week’s events, which will include a presentation by College President Carol Mooney about her recent trip to LeMans, France, a campus-wide scavenger hunt and a lecture by Professor Gail Mandell about the life of former Saint Mary’s President Sister Madeleva Wolff.

Mitros was also excited to announce that she secured permission to hold the week’s concluding dinner in Stapleton Lounge.

“Overall I would say the week is shaping up pretty nicely,” Mitros said.

Heritage Week committee member Jennifer Robbins asked all Board members for their assistance in the planning and promotion of the event.

“I hope [Heritage Week] is something the whole school can come together on,” Robbins said. “There will hopefully be events all day for five days, and we are hopefully bringing archives and old pictures to the Student Center, so we really need some help.”

u As part of Modern Languages Week, the Italian Club will be recreating the Italian cafe “Pascucci’s” by selling pastries and espresso from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in LeMans Hall lobby.

u A Junior Class morning fitness event will be taking place from 7 a.m. to 11 Thursday in Angela Athletic Facility.