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Group discusses course evals

Amanda Michaels | Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Student Senate voted Wednesday to endorse the Teacher Course Evaluation (TCE) proposal discussed last week, and received a report from student body president Adam Istvan regarding last week’s Board of Trustees meeting.

During the last meeting, Alumni senator and academic affairs committee chair Vijay Ramanan, former student body president Jeremy Lao and student delegate to the Academic Council Jeremy Staley presented the idea for a new system that would make course evaluations available to students without violating the administration and faculty sensitivity surrounding the current TCEs.

The proposal calls for the inclusion of an independent questionnaire during the normal TCE process. These answers would be posted on a Web site alongside professor-provided information for each specific course, including a description and syllabus.

Some senators said they feared their endorsement would be purposeless because a letter detailing the idea was already sent to the Provost. Ramanan clarified that the office is aware the proposal is subject to change, and that Senate backing is essential.

“A Senate endorsement will lend this a lot of support when we take it to Academic Council and the Faculty Senate,” Ramanan said.

Istvan expressed concern that the letter was sent to the Provost on Office of the Student Body President letterhead without Istvan himself first seeing it. He suggested that a new version, assuming Senate endorsement, be on Student Senate letterhead instead.

The Senate endorsed the proposal unanimously.

Istvan also gave the Senate a summary of how the Board of Trustees report went.

“The Board was really receptive to the idea of off-campus safety as a priority. There was a lot of concern about the ND SafeBus, but they approved the other three,” Istvan said.

Istvan said the Office of Residence Life and Housing said they would institute the off-campus seminar program, and that Notre Dame Security/Police was developing a long tern comprehensive plan for off-campus safety.

“All in all, it was very successful,” Istvan said. “The [SafeBus] is anything but dead.”

In other Senate news:

uChief executive assistant Dave Baron is creating an Office of Communications to both help him perform his duties as director of communications and to make sure everyone interested has the ability to get involved in student government, Baron said.