University Senate discusses Fruesday, smoking ban

Monday morning, the University Senate Agenda Committee discussed reforms that will affect student life.

The committee talked about doing away with Fruesday classes, using Cardinal Cash in the Village and possibly banning on-campus smoking.

Representing the Undergraduate Education Committee, Assistant Professor of Journalism Dan Waechter suggested that the committee reevaluate the effectiveness of having Fruesday classes.

University Senate Parliamentarian David Pearson said the science department was the first to suggest Fruesday.

"The argument came from the sciences with lab classes," he said. "They needed lab time that was being lost."

Provost Terry King said another purpose of Fruesday is to avoid dropping a day of class, because the university already loses class time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the spring.

It was then suggested that the university move Fall Break to the front of Thanksgiving Break so that students could take the whole week off. A possible effect of this plan would be reinstating Saturday finals.

Matt Whitlock, chairperson of Campus Council, said SGA is looking into the possibility of using Cardinal Cash in the Village.

"There is some concern with giving ID numbers out in the community," he said. "We're not trying to take away from campus Dining services because we want to make it possible to use Cardinal Cash at places like the bookstores, too."

Whitlock said a committee is looking into the policy at Indiana University - Bloomington, and how students can use a Cardinal Cash equivalent on Kirkwood Avenue.

Campus Council is considering getting rid of smoking on campus altogether, he said.

"The issue is that as soon as [students] see the smoking areas, they start smoking rather than waiting until they reach the defined areas," Whitlock said.

There is still debate within the council.

"The argument against the overall ban is that people will just smoke anywhere on campus, because they know they'll get in trouble anyway," Whitlock said.

The senate said it would consider these suggestions.

The committee discussed moving faculty evaluations to an online format.

University Senate Chairperson Brien Smith said the handbook calls for each teacher to be evaluated by students in one course, once a year.

Pearson said if the university uses online evaluations, students should not be pressured to participate.

"You shouldn't coerce students to fill it out online in order to get a good grade," he said.

King said if they want to change the format, this is probably the best time to switch to online.

Smith said there will not be a Senate meeting in November because there is no new business.

"I think we should be respectful of the faculty's time and not seem like we're blowing things off," he said.

He suggested sending an e-mail to faulty with an explanation that things are in the system and moving along.

University Senate Undersecretary Melanie Turner said it is important to have a meeting in December, though. That is when the first reading of a proposed constitutional amendment will be given. The amendment is about membership to the Public Safety Committee.

The second reading will be in January, and that's when the Senate will vote on the issue.

If the vote passes, Turner said, each department has to vote on it within 60 days.

"It's a lengthy process," she said.


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