Faculty Senate approves SGA testing materials proposal, hears of future campus event

Amid laughter and plenty of mixed reviews, Faculty Senate approved a proposal by the Student Government Association for professors to voluntarily provide testing materials for their students on Thursday.

Joshua Simpson, current SGA vice president of operations, Lauren Sharp, student relation chair, and Rachel Adcock, academic affairs chair, proposed a new initiative to the Senate in which professors can voluntarily provide test materials like Scantrons and blue books to their students.

"Faculty members can volunteer and log on to SharePoint to specify how many blue books or test books you need for your class,” Sharp said. “SGA will do the rest and deliver your testing materials to your office right around the beginning of the Spring 2013 semester."

Sharp said the initiative would work out for both professors and students. Students would get the materials they need provided for them, and faculty can have the security of handing out their own Scantrons that haven’t been tampered with, Simpson said.

SGA will also provide free testing materials for students whose professors opt out of the initiative, Sharp said.

Dr. Arnie Barkman from the accounting department asked Simpson, “You have a solution, but what exactly is the problem?”

In response, Simpson explained a survey of 1,379 students in which 72 percent would prefer professors bring Scantrons to class, while 24 percent would prefer to pick up free Scantrons in the library.

Senate members laughed out loud to the statistics, arguing back and forth that students should be responsible enough to purchase their own Scantrons the day before a test.

After ten minutes of conversation, Dr. Dianna McFarland moved to accept the proposal, which was approved by a majority vote. There were four nay votes and five abstention votes in the minority.

Dr. Jeff Todd, chair of the department of modern language studies, and Dr. Komla Aggor, chair of the department of Spanish and Hispanic studies, ended the meeting by announcing a week-long event that will begin next year called Celebrating Our Differences.

“The festival’s primary objective is to enhance student, faculty and staff awareness of, and sensitivity to human cultural diversity and to underscore the importance of the study of foreign languages,” Todd said.

The festival will consist of events like performances by student theater, world music and dance, an international poetry slam, an international fashion show and discussion panels involving TCU students, faculty, alumni and members of the community, according to an event handout.

“We want to group together all of the cultural groups on campus,” Todd said. “We want to give our international students the ability to speak about their experiences, how they are perceived, and how they feel in the TCU community.”

The tentative dates of the event are Sept. 24-26. Todd said most of the festival will take place in the Brown-Lupton University Union and around Scharbauer and Reed Halls.