Monday, June 10, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 145



Q policy will help UH students

Brandon Moeller

Things become less stressful for students if UH President Arthur K. Smith rubber stamps a proposal to allow students to quit a class before the last drop date without the result negatively affecting their grade point averages.

On Wednesday the Student Government Association senate showed its unanimous support for a policy proposed by the Undergraduate Council that will give more power to the individual student to decide to complete a course.

The Undergraduate Council, a think tank composed of faculty members and students calls it the Q Grade Proposal, and it is a step toward student friendliness while maintaining current UH academic standards.

Essentially, a grade of Q could replace a student's GPA-damaging withdrawal while failing (WF) grade that can currently be given by a critical professor to a student who hasn't had much luck in making the grade in the course. Under the current policy, during the semester a student has two distinct deadlines to drop a class: The first is a month after classes start and allows the student to drop without a grade, but the second drop date, around a month and a half after classes start, mandates that a professor gives the student a WP or a WF grade.

If the new proposal goes into effect, the student can bypass the professor and quit the class before the final with a Q grade.

I told a fellow UH student about this possible change. She said, "Hey, I'm for anything that lowers the standards at UH."

I hope she was joking, but I don't really see this proposal as lowering the standards at UH. In fact, it goes a long way toward bringing UH eye-to-eye with our maroon rivals, except you can still walk on the grass.

At Texas A&M University, students also have two distinct course drop deadlines. The first, a mere three days after the first day of class, is when students can drop without receiving a grade. The second A&M drop date is two and a half months later and allows students to drop with a Q grade.

If passed, the proposal will not encourage a student to quit classes with no care in the world about how long it takes to get a degree, since it calls for a maximum of five Q grades per student.

Also, there's not much to stop professors from giving incomplete or withdrawal grades to students after the drop deadline under the current policy. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some professors are either oblivious to the discretion allotted to them as faculty members, or claim that they can't do anything to help you, then quickly change the subject to scold you for not having a higher appreciation for the sciences.

With the Q grade, students are empowered to choose their own destinies (with a five-strikes-you're-out policy) without having to succumb to the occasional tyrant professor who doesn't care that you work a 40-hour a week job and go to school, and that other personal forces can also determine your success in any given semester.

Moeller, a senior communication major, 
can be reached at

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