by Larry Clark
General Education was a hot topic at the Student Government meeting last week. Senator Amber Pietrycha spoke to the senate on behalf of the committee overseeing the General Education program in an attempt to reduce the required amount of General Education credits.
Senator Pietrycha said that the new program would reduce the required amounts of credits to 40, as well as removing skill areas and implementing categories of subjects such as quantitative reasoning, natural phenomena, social and behavioral phenomena and arts and humanities.
“With this restructure it gives students much more freedom in choosing classes that meet the Gen-Ed’s needed, but also genuinely interest the students as well,” explained Pietrycha.
The biggest part of this restructuring will be the removal of the foreign language requirement bypass. Currently, students who have taken three years of a foreign language in high school can bypass or override the requirement. But many of those students who are able to override this requirement don’t actually know or understand those languages. The new program would require students to take a placement test or take three to six credits of a language at the university.
Senator Pietrycha then ended her presentation by taking questions from the Student Senate. The meeting then continued with committee reports, and then new business.
Tensions arose as senators began debating a motion that would restrict their rights when it came to helping those running for student senate.
Internal Affairs 2014 Zero Three (IA14-03) is a motion from the Internal Affairs Committee and would not allow any current senators to help in the campaigning of anyone running in an SGA election. While this rule was already in place for those sitting on the Public Affairs Committee, other senators and even executive board members are not bound to this requirements. This is something some senators have calling “unfair.”
Senator Lauren Hudeobenko made the motion to pass IA14-03 saying that “no one on SGA should be able to campaign for someone else. It could create an unfair advantage and overall looks bad. We should follow SA/LD’s example. We chose to be student leaders and we should be held to a higher standard.”
Hudeobenko’s statement to the senate brought strong arguments from those feeling the by-law change was an infringement to their rights.
“I don’t know if anyone remembers this little thing called the United States Constitution and what it says about freedom of speech. The original point was to avoid a conflict of interest and scandal,” said Treasurer Kory Mills. “When brought to my attention I realized how unfair this was to Public Affairs, but the solution shouldn’t be to ban the entire senate. We have a choice. I personally choose not to endorse anyone, but that was my choice and what I chose to do should be of no matter to anyone else.”
The motion to approve IA14-03 failed, keeping the restriction on campaigning on others running for senate only to public affairs members.