Believe it or not, this semester is more than halfway over. Time flies (not). ESC is trying to alleviate some of your stress in these last few weeks. 

The bulk of this week’s meeting was spent discussing ESC’s COVID-19 Academic Adjustments Proposal. On the heels of the previous meeting’s discussion of the CCSC COVID-19 Academic Adjustments Proposal, Student Body President Estevan Mesa (‘22) drafted an ESC version of the proposal. His hope is that the ESC and CCSC proposals will ultimately be combined into a joint proposal with school specific measures as well as universal undergraduate policies.

CCSC’s proposal includes a request to move the CC drop deadline back a few weeks. During normal semesters, the SEAS drop deadline is already several weeks after CC’s. The ESC proposal asks for students to be allowed to drop courses up until a date later than the current SEAS drop deadline. 

Mesa asked the council’s members how they would feel about asking to make the drop deadline just before finals. Class of 2024 Representative Suheyla Tozan (‘24) was in favor of this idea. She noted that many professors have been taking longer than usual to grade and return assignments. Since course grades may impact students’ decisions about whether to drop a course, extending the drop deadline until finals would allow students to make more informed decisions about dropping courses. 

Class of 2021 Representative Ethan Thayumanavan (‘21) agreed and requested that students be able to drop courses until finals without a withdrawal being noted on their transcripts. Academic Affairs Representative James Wang (‘22) expressed concern that if the policy is passed too late, students may not be able to benefit from it. He requested that SEAS students be informed of the possible extension of the drop deadline so they could take advantage of the extra time to determine their best courses of action regarding retaining or dropping courses. 

The ESC proposal also requests that students be able to pass/fail classes for their majors and for the Core, and addresses the struggles of international students who are taking the year off.

CCSC has already submitted their proposal to their Committee on Instruction. ESC hopes to do the same with their survey as soon as possible. Mesa plans to present the ESC proposal at this week’s COI meeting. If ESC votes to pass the proposal, which would happen within the next few days, the council plans to share the full proposal with the SEAS student body.

ESC is also involved in a lot of surveys at the moment. The council is hoping to get the results of an International Student Advisory Board survey on the difficulties that international students are facing in order to make informed policies regarding this demographic. ESC has also gotten several responses from the survey they created in collaboration with CCSC where students can report incidents where professors or TAs refused to accommodate student needs. The two councils are also collaborating on a Financial Accessibility Survey, where students can discuss how things are going for them financially this semester and let the councils know how being at home or on campus impacts their financial considerations.

ESC also may collaborate with CCSC on a Fossil Fuels referendum soon. ESC was approached by a CCSC representative regarding this, and ESC will discuss further in its next General Body Meeting.

VP Finance Sophia Sagandyk (‘22) updated the council on finances. The council has a large surplus, and because of this, they may advocate for eliminating or reducing the student activities fee for the upcoming semester. Some of the funds may be allocated to create a WeWork fund for students to gather and work together in their home cities and for a community fund. 

VP Student Life Katherine Liu (‘21) congratulated the council on its successful Among Us game nights this past Thursday and Friday. She also discussed upcoming events, which include a panel about graduate school with faculty and graduate student presenters and a design challenge. Both events will likely be held within the month.

Lerner via Bwog Archives