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University Senate backs new pre-med co-major

By Allison McGillivray
On November 26, 2012

Miami University Senate approved the creation of a pre-medicine co-major at its meeting Monday Nov.19. The major will allow students who plan to apply to medical school to major in pre-medicine in addition to their chosen major.

The new co-major will require students take all courses that are required by medical schools and that will be covered on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which recently added to the material that test-takers are required to know, according to Dave Pennock, professor of zoology.

In addition, pre-medicine co-majors must take a course in their first-year where they plan their studies at Miami. Students must also take a medical school application preparation class in their third year.

The Senate's approval of the major makes Miami the first school in Ohio to have a pre-medicine co-major, according to Pennock.

Senator and Professor of political science Philip Russo said the co-major should be approved since it institutionalizes a program that Miami already has and will make a difference in recruiting pre-medicine students.

"You can bet that there are several university senates around the state discussing this right now, given the political economy for competing for these types of students in the state of Ohio, there will be several coming down the pike," Russo said. "So we might as well get out in front on this and institutionalize what we already have."

Senate also heard reports concerning academic integrity and Greek life.

Miami has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of students reported for academic integrity violations, according to Brenda Quaye coordinator of the Academic Integrity Initiative.

Quaye said she does not believe this increase is in part due to an increase in reporting as opposed to an increase in actual violations.

Quaye said many of the reports involve students collaborating on work where collaboration is not allowed.

"This issue of unauthorized collaboration or working together is one that I think is also a national trend and lots of folks on lots of campuses are looking at 'how do we address this and how do we make it more clear about what is appropriate collaboration for our classes,'" Quaye said.

Senate received an update on Greek life from Jenny Levering, director of the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership. Levering discussed the new Community Advancement Program, which lays out guidelines for fraternities and sororities to follow in order to maintain their status as official fraternities or sorority on Miami's campus.

Senate also approved changes to the Graduate Handbook.

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