by Frank Garza
The SGA sponsored President’s Roundtable last night brought forth four issues for discussion: the new developmental math ALEKS program, the Internet Censorship policy, the reduction of graduate studies, and library hours.
The ALECKS program, implemented last summer, had been receiving criticism by many students. Though it has helped 11 students to skip directly to Calculus, and has improved the passing rate overall, other students are struggling, arguing that they learn more easily with more teacher to student interaction.
“We have a significant problem. Developmental education is an issue which we must address. We’re trying to shift from a teaching program to a learning program,” said President Steven H. Tallant.
The policy regarding internet censorship was causing confusion among the student body and was clarified. Aside from the obvious no-no’s, such as looking at inappropriate material, the new policies put in place block known phishing sites and do not condone the illegal downloading of music, movies, or peer-to-peer file sharing.
“I’m not here to censor students, I’m not here to police. We’re just enforcing the law,” said Tallant.
Many graduate studies have had to be cut or combined with other studies to make one general degree program. The reduction of these programs is not a decision made by Texas A&M University – Kingsville (AMK) or the A&M system.
“Several degree programs are being ramped down. What happened there is the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board passed a policy which would eliminate low-producing degree programs,” said Rex Gandy, AMK Provost.
The policy marked low-producing programs for a list, and if they could not meet a quota, they were cut. To bring some of these programs back, the college will try to combine them into a general degree program, which can branch off into different areas, said Gandy.
Several students have been pushing for a 24-hour library with better elevators and a coffee shop. The university had to squeeze the budget last year to increase the library’s hours, and would like to have it open all day, but are short on resources, said Tallant.
“It makes me proud to hear students say they want a 24-hour library, and it’s something we’re trying to work on,” said Tallant.
This President’s Roundtable had a much greater turnout compared to previous ones, where only a few students attended. Students were much more outspoken, making it very exciting, according to Dustin Schwandt, SGA President.
photo by Daniel Ramirez