The University of Connecticut University Senate — not to be confused with the Undergraduate Student Government — is a group composed of professors, administrators and students who make decisions on university regulations not covered by the Board of Trustees and other organizations. Composed of almost 100 voting members, only seven of the entire Senate are students (five undergraduates and two graduate students).
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all, having any student representation is great to explain our position. A recent decision by the University Senate, though, makes very clear the disconnect between the professors and administrators on the senate and the student body.
Last week, they unanimously voted to shorten the grade appeal request deadline from six months to just 10 days after the final grade is given. While the original timeline was unnecessarily long, it seems that the members of the senate are guilty of a huge overcorrection.
Final grades are not broadcasted to students unless professors choose to say something. Otherwise, they are placed unceremoniously on Student Admin. No notification to students in any way, no easy access to the breakdown of this grade, nothing. Especially for younger students coming fresh from high school, this can be a bit obscure and unintuitive.
Further, many students do not get even a breath of fresh air following the semester’s end. Whether it’s an internship, winter job or just well-needed travel, not everyone has the immediate state-of-mind to consider their grade appeal options in less than a fortnight after finals. If someone misses half the window just because they don’t check Student Admin every day, why should they have to rush so much?
The answer is that the Senate did not adequately consider the realities of student life in this decision. The motion passed to reduce long process times, but even the 10-day deadline still results in a 64-day timeline for the grade appeals process. For students, that’s already long enough to majorly affect plans the following semester. If the reason for this change is to reduce bloat, then it doesn’t go both ways, only against the students.
It’s just disheartening to see decisions like this given the student populace is the blood and soul of UConn. With the money and work put into this place, we deserve cooperation, representation and understanding. And when administrators quietly push anti-student decisions through, it feels like they are trying to undercut all of this.