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Volume 70, Issue 79, Thursday, January 27, 2005


Senate remains divided on GPA bill

Student fee cap raised; pluses, minuses of making changes to grading system keep senators debating

By Tina Marie Macias
Senior Staff Writer

After a heated discussion, the Student Government Association tabled a bill Wednesday to change the University's grading system to eliminate pluses and minuses.

"I'm happy that people are putting their own feelings aside, because it's hard to do that -- especially when you're talking about your GPA, which is very valuable," Business Sen. Paul Viscontini said.

The bill -- which At-Large Sen. Cameron Pettigrew dubbed "the victims of the A-minus bill" -- was introduced to allow students to be able to "compete against Texas schools," Business Sen. Elizabeth Davila said.

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Sen. Francisco Zelaya told the Senate he spoke to student senators at The University of Texas and Texas A&M University who told him they were trying to have pluses and minuses added to their grading systems.

He said if UH removes pluses and minuses, it won't catch up with other schools that might change their systems soon.

"(Then) we would have to double back and come back to the system that we already have," Viscontini said.

Though the proposal has been in committee since November, senators said they didn't feel ready to vote on the bill yet.

"If you make an 80 then they get the same grade at an 89 -- you have to ask yourself, is that fair?" Speaker of the Senate Bobby Warren said.

In other business, the Senate discussed plans for this year's election and approved an election schedule. Applications will be available Feb. 8 and will be due at 5 p.m. Feb. 27.

The ballot will be finalized March 3, with voting taking place March 8 and 9. Results should be announced March 10, with a recount the next day if necessary.

Senators also discussed problems with online voting in the 2004 election.

"The main problem was that some people go to the page where there's no going back, and it tells you 'You accept this page, and even if you don't vote, there's no going back' -- that was the significant problem that we need to educate people about," Director of Campus Activities Zack Coapland said.

Senators also OK'd a bill that authorizes raising the $150 cap on the Student Service Fee and approved first-year law student Goldie Gabriel as the new law senator.

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