By Sara Tirrito
The negative effects of All-University Sing preparation and performances, the need for a sidewalk along University Parks Drive and handgun legislation concerning college campuses were among the topics discussed at Tuesday night’s Faculty Senate meeting.
Dr. Rosalie Beck, a member of the executive committee who chaired the meeting, said students’ time commitment to Sing has begun to interfere with students’ academic performance. Beck said professors had been told that Sing practice conflicted with their classes and had also been made aware that students’ practice schedules often exceeded the amount of practice time allowed by Sing rules. Other problems observed by professors include students falling asleep during class and performing poorly on assignments.
“It’s really an issue of concern for students, because recognizing that the social outlet of Sing is very important for the total student, we’re still here to teach and for them to be able to gain in their emotional and physical and spiritual side from Sing; they still have that intellectual side that needs to be fed, too,” Beck said. “So we’re going to talk with appropriate persons and do more than anecdotal analysis. We’re going to try to look at it to see how we as a Senate can be most helpful in discussing the issue of Sing and how it influences students and their ability to perform as students.”
The need for a sidewalk along University Parks Drive was also discussed at the meeting, along with the possibility of adding a shuttle bus to take dorm residents to the Ferrell Center during basketball season. The ideas originated in the student life committee, and although they are still in the discussion phase, were affirmed as important improvements for student safety by the senators.
In regard to the handgun legislation that could potentially legalize concealed handguns on college campuses, Dr. Todd Still, a member of the executive committee and Associate Professor of Christian Scriptures in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary, said the senate is becoming familiar with the situation but taking a “wait-and-see attitude” until it can be determined how the legislation would affect Baylor.
“It’s just a matter on the horizon so that senators can begin to think of informed responses because even among the senators there will not be a uniform response to this issue,” Still said.
Other news discussed at the meeting included senator elections and progress made on a policy concerning the status of lecturers.
Senator elections will be held April 5 and 6, and voting will be conducted online.
A policy that would help to protect and affirm the status of lecturers has been drafted and is being discussed, Still said.
“We want to make sure that these folks who teach so many, especially gateway classes are treated fairly even though they’re not tenured or will not be tenured,” Beck said.
Discussions are also continuing on the criteria for master teachers and the acceptance of transfer credit.