Senate supports student contracts

Patricia Tedjasukmana (left) and Derek LaBrie at last senate meeting. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution at the Oct. 19 meeting that will support a project that would offer contracts to incoming students, guaranteeing them graduation within four years.

The idea is being adopted at universities around the country in different formats and is something the senate would support if it came to UND.

The basis of the idea is that if students entering UND knew what they wanted to major in, they could sign a contract with the university guaranteeing their graduation within four years, as long as they stay on a track track provided with the contract. This would mean taking classes certain semesters throughout the four years and making sure they pass each class.

This idea also would hold departments accountable across the university to make sure that Campus Connection and the UND catalog matched up, so there would be no confusion for students when signing up for classes.

“There was a department where the course rotations were incorrectly printed three years in a row,” UND Student Body President Tanner Franklin said. “We would be holding departments accountable. Lining up everything and getting consistency all across UND.”

This would not be applicable to every major offered at UND, as some — like accounting or certain engineering majors — require more credits and time to graduate. But, most majors on campus would be eligible for this program. The program would focus on undergraduates, but if the need to move it to the graduate program was there, it could be applied to graduate programs as well.

“This is not revolutionary. It doesn’t cost universities a whole lot,” Senator John Mitzel said. “It provides an incentive for the university. We want the university to be as efficient as possible.”

Wellness Center

Senate also passed a bill at the meeting allocating funds to the Wellness Center so student organizations will be able to use the building for free. Similar bills have been passed in previous years, and the use of the facility has grown as word has gotten out to the organizations across campus.

The use of the Wellness Center by student organizations by 87% from the 2012-13 school year to the 2013-14 school year. The bill was passed unanimously.

Medical school

Franklin gave an update on the progress in the repurposing of the medical school. An architectural and consulting firm will be visiting in the coming weeks to help the university figure out how it can be used.

A recent survey filled out by UND staff offered feedback to the committee looking at the repurposing of the medical school.

“There was a voice for a collaborative space, and we’re trying to identify what that means,” Franklin said. “There’s a potential for departments moving over, but then there would be empty space in other buildings. But overall it was study and academic space.”

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].