As concerns rise among students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette amid remote instruction, Rachel Lautigar, the president of the UL Lafayette Student Government Association (SGA), commented on plans for the association and student concerns moving forward.
“The goals that we had left were expanding the fee transparency website that went live in January. We were going to address different department and institutional accounts and even push for a system wide fee transparency page, “ Lautigar said, adding that SGA had begun gathering feedback from students and meeting on the issue before remote delivery began.
However, she also mentioned that with the current situation the university is in, fee transparency may unfortunately be something that the current Big Three (meaning the president, vice-president and treasurer of SGA) will have to hand off to the incoming Big Three.
She confirmed each of the university senators are currently meeting remotely.
“Next monday March 30th we will meet on Zoom for our first official SGA meeting since the closure,” she said.
As far as current projects are concerned, Lautiger commented on the pressing issue of commencement.
Lautigar said that she and other members of the student government sent out a survey to gauge how graduates felt about the upcoming commencement ceremony in May.
“However, as it gets closer we know the likelihood of a normal commencement as we were all planning it gets smaller and smaller,” Lautigar said. “So, I included the options that I had already thought of — that my Big Three and I had already thought of as potential options — and also included a space to add any other options that people might have thought of.”
She estimated that almost 1,500 students have answered all together from both email and social media surveys out of the 1,900 students registered for graduation.
“Maybe another survey will have to come out with much different options, that's not something that I can say with any certainty because nothing is certain right now, but hearing higher ups talk about commencement and making promises that we will be celebrated when the resources are available and when it is safe to do so has at least been encouraging for me, and I believe some other students as well,” Lautigar said.
She stated both SGA and as the university has seen the change.org petition that asks for a universal pass fail system, and is looking in depth at options at the moment.
“I also know that we have been directing people to the SGA's questions comments and concerns website so that they can put it there as well and respect that chain of information so that we can get it to the proper people,” Lautigar said.
She stated the UL system has seen it, and is encouraging universities to seek other means besides the universal pass fail system.
“The university administration has heard the concerns both for and against it and right now their only direction is from the UL Lafayette system, which has urged all institutions to consider other grading options,” said Lautigar
Lautigar stated that many of the consequences that come with a pass fail system have been sent on the SGA website as well as social media.
“I would urge students to keep submitting individual specific circumstances of difficulties with remote transition, individual concerns about grades and gpa, but also know that it is under the systems leadership that has advised the university to pursue other options than just a universal pass fail system,” Lautigar said.