What’s next for Student Success Days?

BY CORIE LYNN

At the beginning of December, the Fort Hays State University Faculty passed what is currently known as the “Success Days” policy. This policy, created by a combined effort of the Student Government Association and the Faculty Senate Student Affairs Committee, passed 24 to 12 in the recent meeting.

The policy passed states that instructors of on-campus courses cannot present new exams or material after the Wednesday before finals week while new exams or materials are not to be presented in online courses after the Thursday before finals courses. Finals for online courses also cannot close before the Tuesday of finals week.

In addition, major assignments must be due before the Wednesday before finals for on-campus courses and due before the Thursday before finals for online courses. 

“We’re happy with the results,” said SGA President Brad DeMers, ‘but now there’s obviously still some bodies that have to look over it and one of those bodies is Academic Council, which is the Provost, I think some associate provost as well and then the deans of the colleges.”

If passed by the Academic Council, the policy would then need to be passed by the Senior Leadership Team, which consists of university presidents, vice presidents and other university entities.

Because it must still pass these other bodies, the “Success Days” policy passed by the Faculty Senate has not gone into effect yet. DeMers explained that the policy could still be edited, such as with a name change, or even failed. He believes, however, that the policy will likely not be edited once it is out of Academic Council.

The policy, which the SGA has developed over the past five years, was originally proposed by the SGA in September of 2019. According to DeMers, it has undergone numerous changes, including expanding the policy to cover online and on-campus courses separately. Many of these changes came through meeting with the Student Affairs Committee and hearing the faculty concerns.

These changes include the addition of more exceptions to the policy, such as performance courses, intersession courses or deadline extensions.

“Obviously, just as a political science student, I wasn’t really considering what biology has or chemistry, so that was good to have that committee help us because they all came from different departments and colleges, and so we all came together and thought of all the exceptions we needed to put on there,” DeMers said. He also thought that these additions helped alleviate faculty concerns.

As it is, the process of creating this policy has taken about five years, including stages of researching and writing, with this year being that of execution of the policy.

“I reached out to all the former [SGA] administration and thanked them because it truly is a hard thing to pass an academic policy, especially coming from students,” DeMers said.

DeMers wished to remind students that, though the policy has been passed by the Faculty Senate, there is a ways to go before the university implements the policy. While he hopes that Student Success Days in effect by Fall 2020, the timetable is uncertain.

“I think students should know that we’re going to have this, but I just hope they don’t get confused and think we’re having it this semester or next semester,” he said.

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