Evaluation Standardization Motion Passes With Uneasy Feelings – Council Update (November 8th,2017)
This past Council meeting was headlined by one topic, the Course Evaluation Standardization Motion*. In fact, the motion is all that Council talked about during the entirety of the meeting.
The Course Evaluation Standardization Motion was brought with a recommendation from Curricular Committee and was presented by representative Perrin Milliken. The motion would be added to section 6 of the Handbook and would require teachers to give a standardized midterm course evaluation.
However, there were many questions within Council surrounding the motion. Representative Tom Lyons asked why the evaluation would ask you for your expected grade, with Perrin responding that it might be important to see if in a certain class there is a correlation between expected grade and feelings towards the class. In addition, it was later clarified that teachers will not be able to view any of the responses to the demographic related questions, while the administration will be able to view the demographics, but the responses will be anonymous.
Mrs. Ceplikas raised the question of why Council was bringing this motion when it seems like something that administration wants. Mrs. Stevenson and many student representatives were eager to respond that it was not for administration but rather that students have been pushing for a standardized course evaluation since 2004.
After multiple minor wording edits, which by rule rescinded the recommendation of Curricular Committee, Council moved to voting on the entire motion. The voting was tense as it was an unusually close vote for Council: four staff members voted against the motion, and seven students abstained from voting. Despite the opposition, the motion passed. However, Council Moderator Aisling Kelly acknowledged all the uneasiness about the motion by saying that the “Shaky motion passes.”
*The motion can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EsILyHZnKTJwV6EWyDzrh8GdrEPgM_DT6V_2Q7nZ2z0/edit