A bill preventing professors from assigning homework, posting lectures, continuing classlike activities when the Oklahoma State cancels classes or is closed is in process in the Student Government Association (SGA).
The idea for the bill started last year when a large snowstorm hit campus; classes were canceled due to weather conditions and many students, specifically in the college of engineering, experienced internet connection difficulties. Some professors in this college continued to assign homework and lab despite the student’s technical difficulties.
Because of this, some students were unable to access or complete their assignments. Trey VanVeslor, Public Affairs Committee Chairman in the SGA Senate and an aerospace engineering junior, was one of these individuals.
“According to the university policy, (a professor) has to give time (to make up assignments or labs),” said VanVeslor. “Some colleges do not allow make up labs at all, if you miss the lab you miss the lab. But for some reason, there was nothing to prevent this from happening.”
The problems he and others experienced during the historic snowstorm led him and a former seat senator to draft this bill. VanVeslor said they did this in hopes of giving students more time to complete assignments and labs without the stress of resolving issues brought on by unexpected situations.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, there were difficulties in processing the bill last year. However, the SGA remained persistent and the bill is up for processing again this year.
It’s recommendation passed through the SGA’s senate with unanimous consent and now the bill’s completion is the decision of the provost, the dean of the college of engineering and other OSU faculty.
The bill is intended to also help build the SGA’s relationship with the provost, in addition to ensuring faculty and staff will listen to the needs of the students. Jack Edwards, SGA student body president and a political science and psychology senior, said he predicts the bill will come to fruition in the coming weeks.
Alexandria Bias, SGA student body vice president and a chemical engineering junior, said she is excited for the bill’s completion and hopeful for this bill to pass.
“(The Provost) was very open to (the passing of the bill),” said Bias. “In fact, she thought that our ask was already the bare minimum (of requests), and was shocked that this wasn’t already happening. So we are very hopeful that we will (be able to sit down and discuss this with them again.)”