TUA considers syllabus database proposal

Lindsay Ruhl, Staff Writer

At the Tulane Undergraduate Assembly’s fifth session, topics including voter registration at Crawfest, a possible new syllabus database and more upcoming events. (Lindsay Ruhl)

The Tulane Undergraduate Assembly met on Tuesday for their fifth session to discuss upcoming events and announce updates, including voter registration at Crawfest, a possible new syllabus database and more

At the meeting, seniors Alexis LaRosa and Anjay Roman proposed adding an option on the Gibson Online site or creating a database for students to view syllabi for professors when choosing and registering for classes. 

“In registration for classes, we have noticed that there is the option to view previous course syllabi; however, none of these syllabi are available,” LaRosa said. “Introducing this syllabus database will increase educational equity by enabling students to view previous course syllabi, therefore decreasing class turnover at the beginning of the semester and enabling students to fully understand what courses they’re getting into.”

Other universities, like the University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Duke University and Stanford University already offer syllabus databases or access to syllabi before students finalize their course registration.

“We figured that the best opportunity right now is for the undergraduate assembly to show a united front and say that this initiative is worth pursuing, and with that, we can move forward through Dr. Osteen to the registrar’s office, given that it’s something that students care about,” Roman said. 

Co-Chair Jay Hartley is currently creating a compensation guide for student organizations such as Tulane University Campus Programming and Crawfest that outlines steps TUA took to get their stipends approved. Hartley hopes student organizations will rely on this document as they enter those conversations with administrators to attain funding. TUA delegates receive a $1,300 stipend per semester if the funding request is approved. 

 “As an advocating body, we need to make sure we’re always finding areas we can advocate for other students, other student organizations,” Hartley said. “Equity can’t stop at student government; equity can’t stop a TUA; we need to make sure that if we do have a wave of something good like stipends that we’re making sure that other student organizations can reap the benefits of that hard work as well.”

TUA has been selected to review staff and faculty nominations for the Greenie Award, an award that recognizes one undergraduate student, graduate student, staff member and faculty member for “outstanding dedication” to the university’s community.

“We will create an ad hoc committee that will review the applications of faculty and staff that are nominated or submitted for themselves to the Crest awards,” Hartley said. “This is something that USG used to do, and it’s been offered back to us by the LBC.”

On Friday, some delegates head to Washington, D.C. to meet with other university student governments, like Howard University.

In future meetings, “We will talk about what we learned and how that could inform our process moving forward and what we can gain from other student governments that are based in D.C.,” Hartley said. “For universities like Howard, this will be our first time talking with them.”

Registered Student Organization Council Co-Chair Morgan Bennett is working on creating a student organization ambassador, or SOA, position, as well as getting new clubs approved, such as a bowling club and a Spanish club.

“Our SOAs are a new position we are trying to craft through the LBC, which is a student organization ambassador, and they’re going to help mentor our clubs and help our clubs with growth, success, goal setting and everything else in between,” Bennett said.

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