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Official SGA report: Students need more answers

Proposed academic calendar change draws criticism from student survey, forum

In response to Concordia students’ feedback regarding the proposal to move the school to a 1-3-3-1 academic calendar, Student Government Association has drafted a report for administrators to consider.

SGA submitted a recommendation Wednesday that asked administrators of the college to look into some of the major concerns students have brought up after considering the proposal.

“The 2013-2014 Student Government Association fully agrees a proposed calendar change could benefit the college, yet cannot endorse a proposal until it more fully understands the impact the change would have,” reads a section of SGA’s report.

In an attempt to gather student feedback about the proposal, SGA distributed a campus-wide survey, held focus groups and hosted an open forum in which students had the opportunity to voice their opinions and ask questions about the 1-3-3-1 proposal and how it would affect Concordia.

According to the report, the majority of participants in the survey felt they were not educated enough about the proposal and erred on the side of skepticism when asked how open they were to the proposal.

SGA President Levi Bachmeier said the survey results were an indicator that students were unhappy with being uninformed about the proposal.

“The survey results likely reflect the process, not the product,” Bachmeier said.

In two focus groups, SGA heard from students they felt represented most areas of Concordia’s campus. In addition to these small group discussions, SGA hosted an open forum last week. According to SGA’s report, about 250 students attended the event held in the Centrum.

The atmosphere at the open forum quickly escalated as students brought up their concerns with the idea of revamping Concordia’s academic calendar.

SGA asked students to rate their approval of the proposal as they entered the open forum. At the end of the event, students rated the proposal a second time.

Bachmeier said there was a sharp increase in the number of students who said they strongly opposed the proposal after the results were tallied.

SGA drafted their recommendation for administration and faculty senate around the mission statement of Concordia College, stating that certain aspects of the proposal need to be explored further.

The 1-3-3-1 proposal will be presented to faculty executive senate on Friday. At this point, there is no scheduled date for an official vote on the proposal.

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