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SENATE: Group passes resolution

John Tierney | Thursday, November 20, 2008

Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution addressing student absences for interviews that called for greater dialogue between students and their professors at their meeting Wednesday.

The students who drafted the resolution, led by Academic Affairs committee chair Ryan Brellenthin, was originally told that there was an existing policy in the College of Business that excused student absences for interviews. However, Brellenthin said that he was later informed that no such policy exists.

The committee decided to draft a resolution designed to raise the issue of student interviews to the faculty’s attention because they “thought it would be a little presumptuous to demand that the faulty do something different,” he said.

Creating a policy on the issue is a last resort for Brellenthin.

“If we can fix it just through dialogue without a policy, then we don’t want a policy,” he said.

Sorin senator Mike Sayles said this idea that creating a policy isn’t the best way to handle any potential issues with interviews earlier in the meeting. “Mostly the professors, especially in the business school, say it’s fine to miss class as long as you notify them,” he said. “They know interviews are going to happen. It’s OK as long as you let them know in advance.”

However, Pasquerilla West senator Megan Sennett said that she has had a problem with missing class for an interview. Sennett, a junior accounting major, said that she has spent parts of three of the past four weeks in Atlanta on interviews. She said that she had to drop a class that meets only on Fridays because she was only allowed one absence.

“It is actually an issue,” Sennett said.

Brellenthin said that his committee based the need for a policy mostly on “anecdotal evidence.” But he said that the need for some sort of resolution is not entirely dependent on students having problems missing classes for interviews.

“Even if every professor was granting absences, we just want to get the dialogue going,” he said. “It’s a good thing for students and professors to get together and talk.”

Sayles objected to one specific section of the resolution that he interpreted as saying the resolution was necessary because the job market is currently competitive.

“It shouldn’t matter whether the market is competitive or not competitive,” Sayles said. “I don’t think there’s a greater need now than five years ago for somebody to go to an interview. It’s always been a part of the process.”

But Brellenthin defended the wording of the resolution because it “signals a change from the status quo.”

“As time passes and the market place for jobs gets more competitive, there’s a reason to change the status quo,” Brellenthin said.

Sayles made a motion to remove the clause that dealt with market competitiveness, but his motion only received two votes and was defeated.

In other Senate news:

u Student body vice president Grant Schmidt announced at the meeting that Food Services has agreed to allow students to use the east room of South Dining Hall and two rooms in North Dining Hall for study space during exam week.

The study spaces will be open from 9:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. from Dec. 14 until Dec. 18.

This is in addition to the Career Center’s donation of the interview rooms in Flanner Hall as exam week study space.

u Senate approved the sale of coupon booklets to students after Thanksgiving by unanimous acclamation. The booklets have already been produced by an unnamed area resident.

The booklets will contain discounts to a variety of different area establishments, including Pappa John’s Pizza and the Star of India restaurant.

Discounts in the book will not be able to be applied to alcohol purchases, Schmidt said.