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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Student Government

SGA senators reach standoff over grade replacement bill

The Student Government Association senate debated and voted on the bill to add a University grade-replacement policy, but there was no action on the bill.

Prior to the meeting, supporting senators modified the bill to focus exclusively on students in their first two semesters of college in order to reduce drop out rates, said Honors College Senator Maggie McCartney.

“Your freshman year really makes or breaks whether you stay in college,” she said.

The bill now only applies to core classes taken in the first two semesters in college, and the classes must be retaken in the next semester they are offered, McCartney said.

The bill was originally intended to make it easier for UH students to gain entry into grad schools, said UH student Brandon Balwant, one of the bill’s original authors.

In its current state, the bill will not affect students’ entry in to graduate school, McCartney said, as the schools only consider grades from the final 60 credit hours.

Many other Tier One schools, including A&M, have similar policies already in place, Balwant said.

“We wanted to replicate success from other Tier One Schools,” he said. “We want to become Tier One, right?”

Some senators remained skeptical, and Pharmacy Senator Rachel Harvey said it created “false success.”

“I would not believe that most schools have this,” she said.

Undergraduate At-Large Senator Stephen Cronin said grade-replacement policies are not reflective of a Tier One education regardless of whether or not other Tier One schools have adopted them.

Other senators said they are concerned that the policy would have a negative effect on students’ futures by keeping them from learning about failure the hard way.

“If you can’t do well in your core classes and you go back and retake it, you’re not going to be prepared for grad school,” said Natural Science and Mathematics Senator John Flynt.

The nine ayes and eight nays did not represent a significant majority in either direction, Speaker for the Senate Reyes Ramirez said, so no action was taken on the bill this week.

The bill will be discussed again in the next meeting, which will take place March 7.

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