This week, the 48th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution that advises the University to extend the Add/Drop/Swap period, tabled a bill that would institute a formal “dead week” period, which would prohibit major assignment deadlines the week before final exams, and failed to provide funding for the annual Lunar Banquet.
College junior, SGA College-wide Representative and Student Life Chairwoman Elyse Lee proposed the resolution calling for the extension of the Add/Drop/Swap period, the time at the beginning of each term during which students can switch into and out of different classes without penalty.
“[Many] people did not have adequate time to shop around for classes,” Lee said.
During the current Add/Drop/Swap period length of one week, she added, some students have to decide which classes to take without having the opportunity to get a sense of those classes’ demands.
Lee’s resolution recommended that the Add/Drop/Swap period be extended to two weeks.
Several SGA members voiced concerns that such a change could disrupt professors’ schedules. Others noted that a two-week Add/Drop/Swap period could overburden students who would have to make up the work for up to two weeks of a class that they added to their schedules at the last minute.
In response to these fears, Lee emphasized her resolution’s non-binding status — it serves as a recommendation to the University about how to proceed, unlike a bill, which is binding.
SGA members generally approved of Lee’s resolution, and it passed by a 17-1-2 vote.
However, the other resolution that Lee submitted on Monday evening, which proposed that Emory institute a formal “dead week” prior to exams during which professors could not give any assignments beyond basic homework and readings, received mixed reviews from her fellow SGA members.
“There’s a lot of stress during finals week,” Lee said. “This would create [a model] that says reading and other assignments can be assigned, but no major assignments can be given.”
People took issue with the vagueness of this resolution, and several people observed that in certain classes, it is not only customary but also advantageous for students to have papers due the week before exams.
SGA decided to table this resolution in order to discuss the matter further in a future meeting.
SGA also tabled a bill requesting money for a trip to the National Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition in Portland, Oregon for the Emory Black Law Students Association Mock Trial team.
Although SGA members agreed that the trip represented a good potential use of SGA funds, some were uncertain as to exactly how much money SGA would need to supply. Thus, the members decided to save the bill for another week.
The Emory Chinese Student Association (ECSA) submitted the final bill of the evening, which requested $5,000 from SGA to help fund their 2015 Lunar Banquet.
ECSA’s poor planning ahead of the event frustrated SGA members, and although a number of SGA representatives were willing to finance the event in theory, many felt that ECSA was not deserving of the funds due to reasons such as their delay in requesting funds, their failure to appear at SGA meetings in person and their history of financially irresponsible event planning.
SGA Vice President and College junior Raj Tilwa, who supported the proposal, also recognized ECSA’s failures.
“The organization’s leadership is not doing its role, but it is an event that the legislature is supporting,” he said.
After amending the bill so that it would provide ECSA with $2,500 instead of the proposed $5,000, SGA voted and the bill failed 7-12-2.
— By Luke White, SGA Beat Writer