Student Senate votes to make Civitas club members eligible for honors credit

By Allyssa Schoonover

A bill was presented at the Student Senate meeting Thursday night regarding the Civitas club’s desire to become an outlet for honors credit.

It passed with a majority vote of 17-15. With this vote, the Civitas club, can express the Student Senate’s support when approaching the honors college. Senators who expressed concern said the bill was too narrowly focused, and should instead propose more opportunities for non-academic honors credits. Another concern that arose was whether Student Senate should be involved in Civitas’ pursuit for honors credit.

The main purpose of Civitas is to promote civic engagement within the community. They invite guest speakers and discuss citizenship at local and global levels. They even used Skype to talk with a United Nations ambassador about global citizenship.

Spring freshman Alex Plott is a member of the Student Senate as well as Civitas.

“Anything we do in the Senate is a strong expression of the students’ interest,” Plott said.

There are two clubs on campus that receive honors credit — the Honors Book and Film Clubs. They have been set up by the Honors College and require students to discuss and write papers analyzing works.

Plott said honors students have a certain number of credits required to graduate with honors and these honors clubs provide a unique way to receive these credits.

“There’s a sign-up,” Plott said. “You have to go to their offices and they fill up fairly quickly.”

Plott said the credits from these clubs meet the same requirements as honors courses.

“It’s the same as a class,” Plott said. “For students that don’t have enough honors credits, they have this extra opportunity.”

In order to pursue this credit, Plott spoke with Dr. Al Beck, the admissions and advisement coordinator for the Baylor Honors Program who expressed interest in the club. Beck referred him to the director of the honors college to get more information about how to obtain honors credit for Civitas members, and will continue to work with him to try to get this approved.

Plott said he sees a need that could be filled with Civitas.
“One of the members in Civitas has to get an honors credit and would rather get credit through this than a book or movie club,” Plott said.