CSU’s November Faculty Senate Meeting has opened some eyes to student plight

CSU undergraduate students are having a hard time adjusting as of the 2021 mid-term

CSU’s Moot Courtroom – the home to Faulty Senate meetings. Photo courtesy of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

The Cleveland State University Faculty Senate met for their third meeting of the school year in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s Moot Courtroom to discuss and motion various campus focuses on Nov. 5.

While the meeting broke out with talks of changing CSU’s academic calendar for years to come, updating the faculty profile page and parking issues, eyes were locked in on Student Government Association President Martin Barnard.

Barnard spoke highly of student efforts to maintain academic stability; however, he highlighted the likely record-breaking number of students needing out-of-class demonstration.

In referencing the number of student referrals to the Tutoring and Academic Success Center, “the number is typically around 200 to 300,” Barnard said. “But, after this year’s midterms, numbers were peaking above 900 referrals.”

While students are often referred to gain help from TASC, the numbers are also partly reported to graduate assistants such as Barnard, department deans, the math center, and the writing center.

“CSU operates on what’s called the DSW rates,” Barnard mentioned. “And that’s something we’re familiar with. If anyone is below C level or withdrawing, those numbers are being reported.”

As many students have addressed their own situations in dealing with the change back to a primarily in-person class schedule, many issues have become apparent through this data.

Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Elizabeth Babin Pask, one of the many faculty members who addressed the situation, spoke of mental health-related causes of students struggling with classes.

“It’s palpable, the anxiety of our students,” Pask said. “I know that we’ve all had very therapeutic and direct conversations with our students about how we can help them manage their schedules and their feelings.”

Ways of fixing this hopefully will be offered at the next Faculty Senate meeting. Barnard says that he and the rest of the SGA are going to continue working alongside the administrative team to soothe things.

“It’s a matter of people coming up and saying, ‘you know, I was a straight-A student two years ago,'” Barnard said. “‘I know how to study. I know how to work with that professor. I know when to get tutoring, but even when I do all of those things, I met a C average this year.’ This is a story of so many people who are trying to be successful, who might be dodging different life situations.”

Until things look up, especially for undergraduate students, maintaining a stable working environment and schedule may be the best self-sufficient solution.

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