Kilcawley Center, 1 University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44505


Minutes for March 16, 2015

Minutes for SGA Meeting March 16, 2015

President Slavens called the meeting to order at 4:02 pm. Theresa took roll call. There are 38 voting members present at the start of the meeting. The minutes from the previous meeting and agenda were approved with no objections. Guest Speaker: Joe Duncko HackYSU is Youngstown State University’s first hackathon. We are inviting 250 students from all around the tech belt onto our campus for a 36 hour straight event where students of all skill levels come together to build creative tech projects from scratch. All meals are paid for and there will be prizes at the end of the event. We’re 1 of 50 schools that do hackathons. We can teach you how to make apps, websites, and other cool things. We’re looking for volunteers for that weekend. Sign up to our mailing list at to know when registration opens. Also be sure to visit our social media @HackYSU
Executive Business President’s Report IUC Trip: We were with President Tressel, and tried for increased funding for higher education; we had great opportunities to network with other schools. CSU Trip: Cleveland State University has the safety app that we’re looking into (very similar). We went with Chief Beshara and are currently looking more into this app. It’s not that expensive; they said they have peace of mind even though they don’t have many incidents. Washington, D.C. Trip: 275 student body Presidents attended and we had a chance to meet bigger schools and influential people. There was, again, a good chance for networking. Young Invincibles Trip: in Columbus we met with legislators and tried to increase funding for higher education. All but 3 universities in Ohio have signed the 5% letter. Once they sign we’ll release the letter for viewing. Executive Vice President’s Report In the Senate Meeting they discussed a minimum hour requirement change to 120 hours, the academic dismissal policy, and plus/minus grades. They are advocating more for the plus grades, and not the minus portion; we’ve agreed to open discussion in academic affairs. Frank Sole will be giving the Last Lecture. Vice President for Financial Affairs’ Report Normally SGA pays (from our administration/ operations budget) a portion of the Student Activities and SGA sponsored Awards Banquet, but this year a donation has been received and thus we have an extra $2000 to appropriate to student organizations. With the passage of SB S 2015_05 we have appropriated to 108 events and 74 total organizations. In regards to funding we have used 76% of our general appropriations budget and 68% of our Chartwell’s budget. Some interesting numbers regarding the types of events funded: Social Events Funded- 31, Conference Attendance- 30, Guest Speakers- 8, Sports Competition- 17, Academic Competitions- 10, and Philanthropy/ Service- 12. Other interesting numbers regarding the types of organizations whom events we have funded: Academic / Educational- 37, Athletic- 2, Club Sport- 17, Greek Life- 13, Honorary- 6, Leadership & Service/ University & Community- 6, Multicultural & Ethnic- 4, Music / Art- 8, Religious- 8, Special Interest- 5, and University Program- 2. This makes a grand total of 108. Unfinished Business There is no unfinished business. New Business SB S 2015-04 Amendment Voting on proposed amendment SB S 2015-04: YES: 37 NO: 0 ABSTENTION: 1 Passes SB S 2015-05 Motion to open floor on discussion on SB S 2015-05: Orr first, Gordon second. Motion to close the floor: Meditz first, Mraz second. Slavens: We don’t have to divide it because there’s only one. All those in favor of SB S 2015-05? Voting YES: 35 NO: 0 ABSTENTIONS: 3 Plus/Minus Discussion Motion to open floor on Plus/Minus discussion: Tancabel first, Meditz second. Briggs: Last year this was something that Dr. Jerryson pushed for and at the time he was pushing for a plus/ minus delineation. Now he just wants the pluses and there are a few reasons. The first, he says, is because it increases the accuracy of the measurement; instead of using feet you’d use inches to get a more accurate measurement. The second is that a vast majority of schools in the state of Ohio use some sort of delineation system. It wouldn’t make it harder for students to get an A. This wouldn’t be retroactively applied to students currently enrolled; this would be only for newly admitted students after the policy passes. Slavens: I was on standards last year when we initially started talking about this. Some of the things that came up were money, it will be a cost to switch over because we’d have to switch over in banner, get a consultant, and it would have to be grandfathered in. Also this was when we were in limbo with the provost stuff and wanted to wait until we had a provost. Another argument I’ve heard is that professors still get to define their own grades as far as percentages go. I like Dr. Sturrus’ comment, it doesn’t matter if you use millimeters or feet, you still can’t measure a jellyfish with accuracy. Evans: He isn’t fighting for the negative, just more so for the positive. The way I see this is that, as a student, this would help my GPA. Gordon: I don’t think we can have a system that has a plus without the minus; it almost seems discriminatory. It seems like we’re trying to reward some for doing well but why shouldn’t we also hold those who aren’t meeting the proper standards accountable? I think if we’re going to delineate between grades then we should actually do it and not just reward people who do well. Slavens: Exactly, and that’s been in discussion. I’ve talked to some professors already who, even if they do switch over, won’t use it. That’s another thing to think about, you can’t force them to change how they’re going to grade. Edgell: What about general education classes where there is more than one class in it, for example taking a freshmen level class as a senior. Briggs: Theoretically some people in the class would be on one system and some would be on another system. Orr: If students are considered pursuing degrees after undergrad would it be normalized still? Slavens: That was a major argument last year. It looks bad that we’re not using plus/ minus because when people apply to grad school it messes up their GPA. But I talked to students who’ve gone to grad school and they say the grades are normalized anyway. Orr: Is there a way for us to find out? The applications I’ve looked at have asked for GPA on a 4.0 scale. Slavens: That is something we will be looking into. We also talked about maybe having a survey. Catlos: If we’re not even sure if this is something that can be implemented through banner or whatever system we’re going to have, and it’s going to cost money, why is this such a big important discussion? Briggs: We need to operate under the assumption that the logistical stuff can get worked out. Is this something we want to try to do? Yazvac: Do we know a general consensus from the professors? Do they like this? Slavens: I’ve only heard from a few who like it; it’s another survey we could send out. Briggs: In the senate meeting everyone seemed receptive. I think that’s why this was getting pushed through very quickly. There seemed to be some favorable attitudes in senate; of course that’s not indicative of every single professor. Meditz: This didn’t seem so favorable in academic standards. I think everyone is just heading this direction because it’s been pushed so much by one person. Catlos: If it’s something that we need to discuss anyway wouldn’t it be a good idea if you had the time and the resources to send out a survey or get statistics on how many students this would affect. How many students are actually on the cusp that this would affect their GPA? Slavens: We don’t have the data to know that because in banner it’s only A, B, C, D, F. Also then, the professor gets to decide what percentage means for grade. Gordon: To clarify, a B is a 3.0? So do we know the solid breakdown, for example a B would be this and a B+ would be this? Briggs: I think because it splits it in half we could assume a B+ is a 3.5 and a B is a 3.0 Swegan: Typically on a plus/ minus system a 3.7 would be an A- and a 3.3 would be a B+. I don’t know how it would work from the proposal of just the pluses. Slavens: I haven’t officially asked yet but we’ll probably be bringing you into it. Last year a lot of the discussion was around enrollment. Olmi: How would that work for people in a different program? Briggs: If the grading scale were different, it would just reflect the delineation. Slavens: Again, it’s up to the professors to decide, or whoever is in charge of the curriculum. Davis: When the grades are broken down the professors will decide that? Slavens: Yes, but it doesn’t make the percentages rigid. Olmi: If this is passed do all professors have to comply? Briggs: Yes, technically they do; but WILL they? That’s a totally different question. Slavens: That’s the issue though. They will have to comply, but when you put the grades into the system you don’t have a B+ or a C+ or anything. They can still just put in A, B, C, D, F. Nobody checks their grades and makes sure they put them in correctly. Gordon: It’s those who are applying to grad schools that have their GPA affected? Lingo: I’ve never seen an application that asked if I was on a plus/minus scale. When I was at Kent and my credits transferred over an A- was an A at YSU. I can see what the difference is but I’ve never seen that digression on applications. Orr: What was your take as a student at Kent and how did the students feel? Lingo: I think it’s all relative no matter what the scale is. Slavens: I’ve talked to professors who’ve felt that, with the increased delineation, it would make the professors feel less bad if they gave students a lower grade. Farran: You will encounter classes that are harder and have a greater weight with more credits. So, as a student, in that situation I would’ve been benefited by this. So that’s just another way to think about it. Wolfe: I feel like at this point in the conversation we’re just throwing things around and there’s not enough information at this point. Briggs: We just wanted some initial reactions. Chretien: Would we be able to ask people from the student body to get more reactions? Slavens: This has to be approved by the committee, but my plan is to send out a survey to all faculty and students. We can judge opinions from both ways. You can see the results. Tancabel: The people you may want to look at are the people who are coming in as well because in theory they’re the ones who would be affected. Chretien: I agree with that but it may be harder to reach people who aren’t here yet. Talking to people here helps you get people takes and experiences of college curriculum. Marinucci: Could we partner with a university that already has this and see what their students think? Gordon: Touching on how this would affect the universities average GPA, I know that funding is often available. But would it negatively impact the university then funding wouldn’t be a good thing. Swegan: I came from a school that did not have plus/ minus, but funding wise I don’t think there is a difference. Motion to close the floor on Plus/Minus discussion: Meditz first, Leonard second. Gallery Remarks It is fun to watch you guys. Advisors’ Remarks Driscoll: Take care and welcome back. Becker: I am constantly impressed with the names I see on campus. Thank you for your hard work and all you do. Swegan: We think the tide is turning with applications. Early soar is packed; housing is up about 60%. Things are looking good for next year. Members’ Remarks If you’re on the ballot then you ARE ALLOWED to start campaigning. Career Fair is two weeks from tomorrow. This week in Career Services in Jones hall: Tuesday and Wednesday. April 16th, PAYO concert at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts. Announcements Motion to adjourn the meeting: Briggs first, Tancabel second. Meeting adjourned at 4:54 pm.