Members of the Student Government Association expressed concern during Tuesday’s meeting after professors addressed specifics of the plus/minus grading system, which will be instituted next fall.David Grant, professor and chair of the religion department and Bob Neilson, a chemistry professor, received many questions from SGA members after they made a presentation to SGA about TCU using a plus/minus grading system.
The biggest concern of SGA was how this system can be instituted when students have not been given the opportunity to voice their opinions through either a vote or a hearing.
Grant responded to questions by pointing out that grading systems are not determined by students.
“This is not a decision that students make. Students do not determine the way that a school will conduct its grading,” he said. “The school decides the way that grading will be determined.”
Grant also answered questions about what makes the plus/minus system better than the current system.
“With the plus/minus grading system, the faculty would be given the opportunity to more accurately distinguish the performance of each of the individual students,” Grant said.
Hutchens gave her opinion as to why the plus/minus grading system would not benefit TCU students.
“This would result in an increase in GPA for those that do not currently have a high GPA, and would hurt and lower the GPA of those students who currently have a high GPA,” Hutchens said. “The ability for those students to achieve a 4.0 average would drop considerably.”
Grant said that the new system is not supposed to hurt students.
“We will better distinguish those who do achieve high successes and those that are not quite at the high stature,” Grant said.
Jace Thompson, vice president of SGA and chair for campus advancement, spoke about how the plus/minus system could lead to an increase in stress for students during finals.
“Every final would now be of concern for the student. Before, a student could choose to focus more on the classes in which they were borderline in,” he said. “Now with the plus/minus, there is a chance that students could be borderline in all of their classes, since the chance of performing badly on the final could result in a minus attached to our letter grade.”
Student elections for the House of Representatives were also announced at Tuesday’s meeting.
Speaker of the House Tori Hutchens said elections will be held on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Students will be able to vote for these elections by logging onto my.tcu.edu, Hutchens said.
The elections will fill the empty seats in the School of Business, the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and College of Fine Arts. Students can also vote to fill freshmen House seats, Elections chair Lindsay Beattie said.
The freshmen seats are not just open to new freshman students. Transfer students will also have the opportunity to run for the empty freshmen seats, she said.