During Temple Student Government’s second to last meeting of the semester, the General Assembly held an open forum on academic advising.
Similar to past meetings, TSG Student Body President David Lopez opened the floor to student thoughts and concerns about the academic advisers in all schools and colleges within the university.
Lopez along with TSG Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Boateng, who was absent at Monday’s meeting, will utilize the comments to further develop a survey focused on evaluating academic advising university wide.
“The purpose of this survey is to figure things out in a general term. I want to have a survey that is prepared that is going to be general and can address the general concerns students have with advising as a whole because that gets us further with what we need to resolve across the board,” Lopez said.
The TSG leaders, including Boateng and Lopez, have met with the Math andScienceResourceCenteroffice Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Assessment Jodi Levine Laufgraben and Senior Vice Provost Peter Jones to develop a survey that will yield precise and meaningful responses.
“[Jones] suggested that we more importantly implement the survey more so with one school or college than all across the board,” Lopez said. “Use a pilot system basically. So we can pitch this to the schools and colleges and see which ones would be interested in taking on this task and maybe wants to learn something from this survey, so that would be the school that would take on the survey. Based on those results, we would determine whether or not we wanted to go campus wide or spread it to more colleges.”
Boateng and Lopez plan to release the survey in the middle of next semester and have just one school within the university pilot the program.
The academic advising survey was developed with the hope that it would bring to light students concerns, such as those expressed at Monday’s meeting.
Junior mathematical economics major Allie Lawless spoke at the meeting about what she described as a lack of communication within the math department and the difficulty of scheduling an appointment with the College of Science and Technology advisers.
“It is very hard to get an appointment with [CST]. You have to schedule an appointment and it will be days and days later, even in the middle of the semester,” Lawless said. “[Economics] is a part of my major and it is with CST and they don’t even know their requirements for classes and their prerequisites for classes.”
Several other students voiced concern about the lack of communication by the other schools and the unavailability of CST advisers. Others complained about what they perceived as conflicting information given by the College of Liberal Arts advisers and what they thought were failures on the part of College of Education advisers to warn students about prerequisite requirements.
However, not all of the students expressed dismay with their advisers. One student said that the advisers in the School of Media and Communication are welcoming, friendly and available. Another student commented that the advising in the Fox School of Business is improving and getting better.
Following the open forum, the General Assembly was introduced to a new format for the student organization announcements.
The new format requires student organization representatives to fill out a slip of paper including their event date and time at the beginning of the meeting. Speaker of the General Assembly Robert Kost then selects eight organizations at random to make their announcements during the meeting.
The new idea stemmed from Vice President of External Affairs Ofo Ezeugwu and Vice President of Services Julian Hamer in an executive committee.
“They had the idea to switch it up a little bit because we do have some delay when we do student organization announcements. We wanted to get greater participation, so David, Ofo, and Julian came up with the idea of a box,” Kost said.
Student organizations also have the ability to send their event flyers to Kost before the weekly meeting for the guaranteed opportunity to promote their event.
The TSG leaders also plan to use the slips of papers to promote the organizations events through the Internet and social media.
TSG will hold their final meeting of the semester next Monday, Dec. 3.
Laura Detter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.