University Senate

Tutoring hub to open in Bird Library and other takeaways from University Senate meeting

Courtesy of Steve Sartori

A free tutoring hub is expected to open in E.S. Bird Library in January as per recommendation of the Chancellor’s Workgroup on Diversity and Inclusion.

The University Senate held its last meeting of the fall 2016 semester on Wednesday afternoon in Maxwell Auditorium. Here are three takeaways from the meeting:

Tutoring hub

A free tutoring hub is expected to open in E.S. Bird Library in January as per recommendation of the Chancellor’s Workgroup on Diversity and Inclusion. The Center for Academic Achievement will offer free “critical academic support,” said Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly, who added that the center will focus on “high-DFW” courses.

High-DFW courses are those that have high percentages of students who receive D or F grades or withdraw from the course. Margaret Usdansky, the director of Syracuse University’s Academic Integrity Office, will direct the staff at the center.

In support

Senate members discussed an address that would demonstrate its support for a group of SU students who, following the results of the presidential election, penned a petition to Wheatly and Chancellor Kent Syverud regarding the election.

The petition asked Wheatly and Syverud to represent the entire university community in supporting refugees entering the United States and “those who rightfully fear an increase in discrimination on the basis of their race, gender, socio-economic status, religion and sexuality,” according to documents from the Senate.

Syverud signed a letter expressing SU’s support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA, which permits undocumented students who entered the U.S. as minors to receive renewable deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

On Wednesday afternoon, Syverud sent an email to the university community to address his support for the creation of a sanctuary campus but also acknowledge that SU “simply cannot ignore federal laws” if a Donald Trump administration cracks down on undocumented students.

“However, it is our policy not to share student information, like academic records, medical history or immigration status, unless required by law,” Syverud wrote in the email.

Senate members debated whether to acknowledge the results of the election in its address of support for the students. An amendment was made to explicitly state the Senate’s support for the petition without acknowledgment of the election.

Free speech

Syverud discussed progress on review of SU’s three speech policies, which focus on information and technology, campus posting and anti-harassment. Syverud said the campus posting policy is not yet ready for implementation and suggested the policy go back to the Senate for additional review. He said he hopes the other policies will be implemented in January.

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