Committee aims to make syllabi cosistent


Geoffrey Okolo

SGA officials have begun drafting the Syllabus, Attendance and Participation Grade Standardization Act. The Act was developed by students concerned about the inconsistencies and ambiguity regarding attendance and participation grades.

“There were instances where faculty did not have any points allocated for attendance of the class, yet points were deducted for absences,” said Salman Sakib, director of Academic Affairs for SGA. “There were [also] instances where students had participation grades in their syllabus, but it is not clearly defined what participation grade means.”

This uncertainty worsens as students cannot turn to the syllabus for guidance.

“Faculty do not post the syllabus on Blackboard in a timely manner at the very beginning of the semester, and some syllabi do not contain mandatory components such as information about ADA, Roadrunner Creed, Grades Distribution, etc.,” said Salman Sakib.

Since the uncertainty surrounding attendance guidelines, participation guidelines and syllabi standardization can have negative consequences, the legislation attempts to address it head-on.

“[We are recommending] for all faculty to include all the mandatory things on a syllabus and clearly define attendance and participation grades. Also, [we are advising faculty to] avoid attendance policies that deduct points for absences while not [rewarding students] for their presence,” said Salman Sakib. “This will resolve the issues with attendance and participation grades if faculty starts to clearly define those grades in the syllabus. [Finally], posting the syllabus at the very beginning of the semester will enable students to make informed decisions about their classes.”

The legislation is still under construction, so it has not yet been proposed in the General Assembly.