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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Student Government

Grade replacement policy in SGA

In tonight’s meeting, the Student Government Association will discuss a grade replacement policy that would allow students to retake a failed class within their first 45 hours of their undergraduate education.

The bill received criticism from some of the student senators, including political science and English senior Stephen Cronin who said it could devalue a UH degree.

“If people have higher GPAs, then the value of the degree goes down,” Cronin said. “I think it’s a bad policy, and I think it would be bad for UH students.”

Honors College Senator Maggie McCartney said other schools, including UT and A&M, hold similar policies and adopting the bill would make UH students better candidates when they look for employment.

“UT has a grade replacement policy, and if a student from there has a 3.5 GPA and the student from UH has a 3.0, the student from UT will get the position,” McCartney said. “It will make us more competitive and put us on equal footing.”

Currently, students who retake a course will have both grades factor into their cumulative grade point average at the University.

If enacted, the bill would allow students to retake a failed class if they have fewer than 45 credit hours, including credit from other institutions. Students would only be allowed to retake the course once and would still pay for each class. The original grade would still appear on their transcript and be denoted with an “R,” but would not affect their grade point average.

Students would need to have fewer than 45 credit hours at UH when they apply for the replacement, and the same course cannot be retaken more than once, according to the bill text. Students would also be unable to petition more than three grades or 10 credit hours.

Communications and political science senior Michael McHugh said he wrote the bill for students who fail a class when they have “special circumstances they can’t control.”

“We are denying our student body the ability to correct some mistakes they have made in the past to brighten their future over things that were beyond their control,” McHugh said.

The bill was revised since it was brought to the Student Senate on Oct. 26 and could face additional changes in the Jan. 25 Academic Affairs Committee meeting before putting it up for a vote again, said McCartney.

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