ASUA shoots down academic integrity amendment
In an ongoing discourse with the Faculty Senate, ASUA senators last night decided not to support the newly worded change to the UA Code of Academic Integrity.
The decision came down to ASUA Executive Vice President Ben Graff, who broke a tie between the eight senators present.
"I feel that if half the Senate disagrees with the change, then it is definitely worth continuing discussion on the matter," he said. "By passing the bill, it would have ended all discussion, and senators and students would no longer have a chance to voice their opinion."
The original proposal prohibited students from using work for more than one course without prior approval from faculty members.
The new proposal stated that students would be prohibited from submitting work "without SUBSTANTIAL modification for more than one course without the prior permission of the faculty member -IN THE SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT COURSES."
Sen. Shane Brogan spoke critically about the new wording, saying it was unspecified and difficult to understand.
"'Substantial modification.' What is that? I think it is incredibly too vague," he said. "The clarity of the word 'substantial' is the issue. If it was more clear, I would still have a problem with it, but I would understand why others wouldn't."
Brogan said he was disillusioned with the reasons behind the proposal.
"I am more against the whole concept," he said. "I think the faculty is pushing this off on to the students. What responsibility is the faculty taking in this? Why should I be told twice to write that very same paper for two classes?" he said.
Brogan said financial issues were also a factor in his decision.
"They're taking no responsibility for this," he said. "If I have to write the same paper for two classes, then this university has ripped me off."
Other senators agreed with his statements.
"Quite simply, it infuriates me when I waste my time in class doing the same work for classes that I've paid for," said Sen. Tiffany Podbielski. "I think it's a pretty sad statement about the class if a student can get away with getting credit for work done in another."
Although Associated Students senators applauded the Faculty Senate for amending the original proposal, it was not enough to gain support.
"This was a major step," Brogan said. "It shows that good communication is occurring between us and the Faculty Senate."
Brogan and other senators said the "vagueness" of the amended proposal would cause a loophole that could lead to unexpected student code violations.
"Whether you are for or against this, you will be passing something with a big hole right down the middle," Brogan said.
Those senators who voted to support the proposal claimed the potential loophole is not of concern, and that the change would actually protect students.
"I disagree that this will be a loophole for evil faculty members that will hurt students," said Sen. Michael Dobbs. "It (the proposal) allows a student to challenge the professor's decision. Without it, there can be no challenge at all."
Dobbs later agreed that the proposal's wording needed to be changed if it was to pass in the student Senate.
"It seemed that the Senate did not want to pass this because they felt it was too ambiguous," he said. "I feel that the word 'substantial' needs to be much more defined, reducing the ambiguity."
The proposal will be discussed and may go to a vote at Monday's Faculty Senate meeting.
It has already been approved by the Student Affairs Policy Committee and the Graduate and Professional Student Council.