A number of faulty blue Scantrons had already been used for tests before members of the Student Government Association were able to alert students about the problem.
SGA President Jackie Wheeler and Vice President Brett Anderson sent an e-mail to the student body Wednesday, explaining that some of the free Scantrons available at the library would not work in TCU scanners. The free Scantron initiative was started by SGA last semester.
The error was discovered by geology professor Stephanie Sunico, who notified SGA about the fault in the blue Scantron format. Sunico provided her students with Scantrons she picked up from the library before her first exam and noticed the error while grading the tests.
SGA was notified early enough to be able to provide assistance to students and faculty affected by the issue, Wheeler said.
“We have taken a really proactive stance in how we are handling the issue,” she said.
Members of SGA were in contact with professors to ensure that students who used the faulty Scantrons would not be penalized, Wheeler said. “This is not by any means [the] students’ fault,” she said. “This is our fault.”
SGA addressed the situation by offering professors help to hand-grade or pencil in new answer sheets and delivered new Scantrons from the bookstore Thursday morning to professors who expressed concern about the Scantrons. The group also purchased around 300 correct blue Scantrons from the bookstore to provide for students in the library. “If a student’s grade is affected because of an error we made, that’s just horrible,” Anderson said.
Anderson has been the main contact for professors “to put out fires and make sure everyone is up to date,” he said.
SGA ordered the defective test sheets through the same company from which TCU orders their Scantrons, Wheeler said. The company told SGA that the two forms were identical except for the brand.
The Scantrons were checked by an SGA member after they were received to make sure they worked, she said. The student who checked the Scantrons last year no longer attends TCU.Wheeler said she was surprised to learn that the blue Scantrons did not work.
“I wish I could go back and ask them what happened, but I believe that it was just a communication error,” she said.
SGA had ordered 2,000 of the faulty Scantrons, Anderson said. Around 1,000 were distributed by the library before the notification of a Scantron problem.
Each student is allowed to receive up to three free Scantrons from the library, which means only about 300 students had unusable answer sheets, Anderson said.
The two Scantron forms look identical except for two differences, he said. Scantrons from the bookstore have Texas Christian University printed on them while the faulty format does not. The rows and numbering on the defective Scantrons were also numbered vertically while the correct version had horizontal numbers.
Green Scantrons distributed at the library were unaffected and would continue to work on tests. SGA is still trying to come up with a plan about what to do with the extra Scantrons, but for now the main concern is TCU students, Wheeler said.