DSG hears enhancement plan, passes resolutions

After soliciting input at the Graduate and Professional Student Council's body meeting two weeks ago, the chairs of the University's quality enhancement plan committee heard from undergraduates about the plan during Duke Student Government's meeting Wednesday night.

The quality enhancement plan is a document prepared every 10 years to reaccredit the University. It is submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

A committee of faculty members met over the summer and decided to theme the plan around "re-imagining liberal arts education in the 21st century," said Prasad Kasibhatla, the plan committee's co-chair and associate professor of environmental chemistry at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.

"We haven't really honed in on anything yet," he added. "We're in the very early stages."

Kasibhatla said he wanted to engage DSG members to discover what changes students want to see in the liberal arts education. Mary Boatwright, committee co-chair and a professor of classical studies, said the committee had discussed ways to make preprofessional or large classes as engaging as liberal arts curricula such as the Focus program.

Senators discussed expanding the pass/fail option for classes, reevaluating Curriculum 2000 to include fewer requirements and improving the premajor advising program. Kasibhatla and Boatwright responded favorably to many of the suggestions, noting they had also experienced problems in some of the areas.

Boatwright said the committee would evaluate the feasibility of implementing the suggestions before writing the plan next August.

In other business:

After some debate, representatives passed an election bylaw, a judiciary bylaw and a legislative bylaw proposed by Executive Vice President Jordan Giordano, a junior.

The election bylaw requires candidates running for executive positions to attend two general body meetings before election day to gain exposure to the projects and workings of DSG. Some senators who opposed the bylaw said the requirement may deter individuals from running.

Representatives unanimously endorsed a resolution presented by Senator Portia Boone, a sophomore, calling for coed blocking as an option for living arrangements on West Campus.

Members also endorsed a resolution to add a vending machine containing juices, yogurt and noncarbonated drinks to the Great Hall. Junior Sunny Kantha, vice president for athletics and campus services, presented the proposal and said the vending machine would reintroduce the previous variety of snack and drink options, which were removed this year with the addition of the salad bar.

Representatives approved a resolution presented by Senator Chinwe Atkinson, a sophomore, to create half-credit visual arts classes similar to courses offered by the music and dance departments.

Members unanimously endorsed a resolution presented by Senator Clarke Hitch, a freshman, to fund a driver for a van owned by the Community Service Center so student volunteers would have transportation to their projects.

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