At its Jan. 26 meeting, Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) passed a resolution calling for Provost Jason Osborne to extend the deadline for students to change classes to credit/no credit. The resolution was inspired by the large number of signatures an ASG-created petition received last week.
The resolution, authored by on-campus senator Harry Harman and off-campus senator Omar Elghazawi, states that ASG “formally disapproves of” Osborne’s Jan. 21 decision to change the credit/no credit deadline to Feb. 11, just two and a half weeks after the start of the spring semester.
“Sometimes, there are things that we shouldn't pick fights with [the administration] over because [the administration], in the end, is what gives us our legitimacy and what allows us to get work done,” Elghazawi said. “I think that this is probably a situation where picking fights makes sense.”
The resolution also states if the administration doesn’t take any action to extend the credit/no credit deadline by Feb. 4, ASG will begin working with University Senate to create its own resolution challenging Osborne’s decision.
Ruku Pal, ASG’s secretary for academic affairs, said they likely will need to bring the resolution to senate because Osborne already said he can’t see himself changing his mind on this issue at this time.
“[Senate] is primarily faculty, and we need faculty to vote in favor of continuing this discussion and revisiting this policy,” Pal said. “Because of shared governance, they do have a say, even though Provost Osborne has already made his decision.”
During discussion of the resolution, some members of ASG expressed confusion about Pal’s role in retracting the deadline. The email students received announcing the new policy was signed by both Pal and Ben Maldonado, chair of ASG’s COVID-19 ad hoc committee.
Pal said though she and Maldonado helped write the email, they didn’t consent to having their names on it and didn’t endorse the policy.
“I can understand where [the email] gave the impression that we had helped create that policy, but we did not have a hand in it,” Pal said.
Members of ASG overwhelmingly expressed support for the resolution and re-extending the credit/no credit deadline in general.
Off-campus senator Jakin Wu said he favored the resolution because he took issue with Osborne’s assertion that students are not experiencing as much disruption as last spring and therefore don’t need a credit/no credit extension.
“I would like to emphasize the importance of this policy,” Wu said. “People are losing jobs, losing family members [because of COVID] — I would call that a disruption.”
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The resolution passed with 20 yeses, one no and one abstention.