Students show concern over LPWG proposals

Last week’s Learning Programs Working Group meetings provided students with opportunities to discuss proposals with committee members regarding toward curriculum changes.

Organized by members of the Student Government Association, the meetings, held Tuesday and Thursday of last week, were intended to address student comments.

Students were able to express differing concerns and opinions during one of the two meetings.

Junior Josie Rundlett, Student Government Association senator, attended both discussions and is concerned with the lack of student input involved with the construction of the proposals.

“My concerns are in my time in Simpson, this is the first time students have not been invited to the table,” Rundlett said. “This process has been going on for about two years and the proposal was first brought to students a month ago.”

Rundlett believes involvement with the proposals is important because faculty will pay attention to students.

“One of the things that makes this a great institution it is that Simpson takes students seriously,” Rundlett said. “You’re a voice, and there are faculty willing to listen to us.”

Freshman Class President Steven Ramsey agrees there should have been student involvement with the proposals.

“I would have appreciated it if there had been as much student input in the beginning as there is now,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey also thought the meetings were beneficial in helping him understand LPWG’s proposals.

“I got the standpoint of the LPWG and why they did what they did with the proposal,” Ramsey said. “It was a better understanding from both [faculty and student] sides.”

Sophomore Courtney Lezanic attended Tuesday’s meeting to gain a better understanding of the possible changes. After attending, Lezanic decided she’s more inclined to favor the proposals.

“The faculty is trying to make the experience at Simpson a better one, and I think they should know because they’re the ones teaching,” Lezanic said. “We [students] should give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what’s best for the students.

Lezanic is also aware after the meetings that the LPWG proposals are not finalized.

“They [faculty] made it clear that nothing is 100 percent for sure right now.”

According to Kedron Bardwell, LPWG committee member and associate professor of political science, the proposals serve as a guide for Simpson College.

“The best way to think about it is as an outline for a direction we’d like to go,” Bardwell said.

The Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee voted last month to recommend the proposals be voted on by the full faculty.

Faculty was officially notified of the proposals at March’s full faculty meeting, causing a standard 28-day waiting period to begin. According to Steve Griffith, vice president and dean of academic affairs, the purpose of the 28 days is to allow the faculty to address questions or areas of concern.

Griffith said faculty can vote as early as April 1 to pass, amend, or table the proposals. According to the proposals, implementation of changes could occur as early as fall 2010 if passed.

According to Griffith, students can read the proposals and check whether their questions are answered in the document.

Griffith also said that he or any member on LPWG may be contacted with further comments.

Bardwell states the proposals will be affected by comments LPWG receive.

“We [LPWG members] are gathering information from all the groups that would be affected by this,” Bardwell said. “This proposal will be shaped along the way by the feedback that students give, that faculty give, and that divisions give to the proposal.”