Semester switch causes concern

Student senators expressed concern that some students “would fall through the cracks” during the impending switch from quarters to semesters.

OU will transition from a quarter-based term to a semester-based term in fall 2012, and Jeff Giesey, co-director of the transition, met with Student Senate last night to address their anxieties.

Giesy said the office’s goal is to ensure the transition does not put students at a disadvantage.

Senators worried that possible administrative errors could delay some students’ graduation times.

“Some programs are going to be more rigid than others,” said Chris Wagner, senator for the Honors Tutorial College. “There’s still the possibility for people to fall through the cracks.”

Currently, students can appeal possible administrative mistakes to the provost.
The transition will be just as confusing for advisers as it will be for students, Vice President Matt Beddingfield said, adding that he had to change his adviser two different times during his freshmen year.

“That’s something I’m worried about also,” Giesey said. “The advising procedure varies wildly across campus from college to college.”

An additional $1 million will be added to the advising budget for next year to facilitate the Transition Degree Completion Plan, a mandatory plan every student must complete with his or her adviser, Giesey said. The plan, which must be approved by a student’s college, includes a list of courses that the student must take in order to graduate.

Giesey asked Student Senate to consider creating an active student organization that would get students engaged in the quarters-to-semesters transition and help students better understand their responsibilities.

“We’re in this together,” Giesey said. “We need to show each other a little bit more flexibility than what we have.”

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