1. Chair’s Report - Peter Gillett, Senate Chair
2. Secretary’s Report - Ken Swalagin, Executive Secretary of the Senate
Proposed Charge to FPAC: Consider and make recommendations for improving procedures for handling student complaints against Rutgers personnel, as well as how those procedures are communicated to students.
Rationale: There are student complaints that are not covered by Rutgers University policies, and that are handle in an ad-hoc manner by department chairs, deans and other administrators. For grade complaints there is an established policy in the course catalog for each campus. For issues related to the following policies there are established procedures for handling complaints: Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Related Misconduct by Employees and Third Parties Resources Supplement; Discrimination, Harassment, Workplace Violence, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation; Policy 60.1.12, Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment; Policy 60.1.13, Policy Prohibiting Workplace Violence; Policy 60.1.16, Conscientious Employee Protection Policy; Policy 10.3.12, Student Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Related Misconduct; Policy 10.2.11, Code of Student Conduct; RBHS Students Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures; and Student Life Policy Against Verbal Assault, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Defamation. A policy gap exists when the student complaint against a faculty member does not fall within these policies. When a complaint is made concerning an instructor, the department chair, dean or other administrator may make a decision concerning the complaint without consulting the instructor. There is a need to review existing policies, identify the policy gap concerning student complaints, and make appropriate recommendations.
Since ASRAC and Senate have traditionally worked very closely with administration on the development of, and adjustments to, the Academic Integrity Policy (AIP) we felt it was imperative that we meet with Mr. Pitt to discuss his process, the roles of ASRAC and Senate vis a vis the AIP, and ways we might work together more closely in the future.
At that meeting Mr. Pitt presented troubling data and expressed a number of concerns regarding the exponential increase in AI violations, the lack of support from administration, and serious staffing issues causing unacceptable average times for adjudication of AIP violations and many other issues.
While this may be a primarily New Brunswick issue, ASRAC requests that a charge be issued to our committee to investigate the current procedures for adjudicating AI policy infractions on all three campuses with the goal of determining what recommendations we may consider regarding what we see as a vital issue for students and faculty alike.
The Student Caucus specifically endorses such a change that would permit any student to fill the aforementioned position, after having been elected by the Senate in accordance with all established bylaws and procedures, after the position has been vacant for the spring organizational meeting and the first fall meeting, provided no student from that campus is nominated at the second fall meeting.
The Student Caucus emphasizes that such a change would still promote student representation on the Executive Committee from each campus while still ensuring full student representation, based on the seats allocated to students, in order to better enable to Senate to act as a unified body of all stakeholders within the university.
The Student Caucus supports a mechanism by which the at large student would continue to consider the best interests of the campus to which the allocated position belonged by frequent communication with the Senators from that campus. The Student Caucus can also serve to provide this forum for communication. This at large student should recuse themselves from issues that unfairly benefit the campus they represent in the Senate if this is to the detriment of the campus to which the allocated position belonged.
This past year there was a vacancy on the Executive Committee due to the absence of an elected student senator from Newark wishing to run for the position of Executive Committee Representative for Newark students. This position is critical for student representation from Newark and student representation as a whole. Additionally, I would like the committee to which this charge is issued, if issued, consider the endorsed language (above) from the Student Caucus.
Issue Raised by Student Justin Valeroso
regarding Raising the Minimum Wage at Rutgers, on behalf of
Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops (RUSAS), a labor rights
organization - Mr. Valeroso asked Ken Swalagin to allow RUSAS's
resolution on this issue to be presented at the October 20 Senate
meeting. Swalagin responded that he could not grant that request, but
that he would inform the Executive Committee of the issue and the
Issue Raised by Student Justin Valeroso regarding Raising the Minimum Wage at Rutgers, on behalf of Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops (RUSAS), a labor rights organization - Mr. Valeroso asked Ken Swalagin to allow RUSAS's resolution on this issue to be presented at the October 20 Senate meeting. Swalagin responded that he could not grant that request, but that he would inform the Executive Committee of the issue and the resolution.