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VSU limits withdrawals to five

The “5 W” policy drafted by the Education Policies Committee was approved by the Faculty Senate at the Faculty Meeting on March 25. President Patrick J. Schloss, did not attend the meeting but later approved the policy. Effective Fall 2010, all undergraduate students are limited to five course withdrawals (“W”) grades for their entire enrollment at Valdosta State University. Once a student has five “W” grades, all withdrawals thereafter (by Banner Web or initiated by a student on the proof roll) will be recorded as “WF” and then calculated as an “F” for GPA purposes.
The discussion on the policy lasted an hour and a half. SGA President Kelli Cody represented the students of VSU and tried to change the policy.
“The policy is too restrictive,” said Cody. Cody then tried to persuade the Senate to increase the limit to seven to eight withdrawals and to push back the drop/add date for students.
However, the idea was frowned upon by the senate.
“Pushing back the add/ drop date pushes back 7,000 excess checks,” said faculty member Tracy Mark.
Senator Bruce Caster felt that transfer students may receive the harder end of the policy. He then suggested that the policy be amended to allow transfer students an extra “W.” This idea was also shot down because of the complications it will create for students.
Other possible amendments for the policy that were dropped would have changed the wording of the policy, the limit, and the appeals process. Senator Michael Davey felt with the culture of the students today, the policy fits perfectly. “Judging from what we have heard from the senate and SGA, this is exactly the type of culture that the policy is designed for,” said Davey. “This isn’t a mall; students can’t just pick what they want.”
Most of the faculty agreed with Davey, including Dr. James LaPlant, Director of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“We are hearing a lot of good ideas, but we need to create a straightforward policy for the students.” In the last statements before voting, Cody abruptly gave her final input.
“Students are paying for this university. We pay for your salary, we’re paying for you to be here.” said Cody.
“I’m trying to be polite. You are here because we are here. You are going to get an uproar from students. It’s all about compromise.”
The “5 W” Policy will be put in the Student Handbooks for the 2010-2011 year. “This doesn’t apply to this Spring/Summer semester,” said Executive Secretary Jay Rickman. “Students will start with a clean slate.”

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