Senate Meeting Discusses Excused Absences for Campus-sanctioned Events


October 12 saw the fourth Campus Senate meeting of the semester.  The meeting started off at 10 a.m. with a discussion about a proposed resolution.  This resolution stated that faculty would be strongly encouraged to allow students excused absences for campus-sanctioned events such as athletics, MIG, and Model UN.   

There was a lengthy debate over whether this resolution should pass or not.  Some members of the Senate said that the bill should be passed because it would encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities that many come to UIS for.  In response, other members said that it would provide a way for students to miss the classes that are the focus of their college experience.  It was mentioned that it was an administrative issue, not a faculty issue, if the University scheduled events that students were contractually obligated to attend at the same time as classes.  It was decided that a vote would take place at a later date, yet discussion would continue for longer.  According to one Senate member, the wording of the resolution uses the words “strongly encourage”, which in effect does not require a faculty member to do anything.  Many, if not all, faculty members already give absences for these events, so according to this senator, the resolution does nothing at all.  After 45 minutes of debate, the discussion ended until the next meeting. After the debate over the proposed resolution, a number of reports were given.  The first report was from the Philosophy department about their assessment procedure.  The chair report mentioned ECCE and student evaluations. 

The next report said that Blackboard will no longer be supported after the Summer of 2019 and a new system needs to be in place before the fall of 2019.  The final report was from the Student Government president.  She mentioned the events SGA held and the SGA forum that was hosted on Wednesday, but did not mention the campus cats that dominated that conversation.  The meeting adjourned after the reports at about 10:45.