by Jennifer Gleason
Last week, campus buzzed with rumors that student organization members would be required to have a 2.5 GPA to be involved.
“That is, as many things in life are, just a rumor,” said Erin Sylvester, Greek Life assistant director for organizational development.
The truth: Student Life is finally enforcing a policy in which members are required to have at least a 2.0 GPA, and student executive members are required to have at least a 2.5 GPA.
The rumors followed a discussion at the mandatory student organization meetings Tuesday, Sept. 3 and Wednesday, Sept. 4.
“The only change is that we have never before provided a means to enforce this policy and beginning in January 2014 we will be providing that accountability,” Sylvester said. “(W)e will assist in grade collection and enforcement, but without releasing exact grades of students.”
Sunday night, SGA President Will Jimerson started a debate on Twitter asking students how they felt about a 2.5 GPA requirement. Monday, Jimerson sent a second tweet clarifying the GPA requirements.
“I got clarification from the director of Student Life, Robin Vickery, on Monday—after the Twitter debate started—after it was announced wrong in the student organization meeting,” Jimerson said.
Regardless, many students weighed in on the debate overnight.
“@wcjimerson think it’s a great idea. Grades come first, everything else is secondary. If your grades aren’t in order, how can your org be?” @ms_rashae tweeted.
Not all replies were as positive.
“(My) being involved in orgs is (what) helped me become who I am today, I wouldn’t want to take that from anyone just because they made a mistake,” @Its_Granddaddy tweeted.
For Student Life, the dilemma was risking student members for the sake of academic standards.
“One of the things that we consider is what area must we give greater priority to?” Kirk Johnson, Student Life graduate assistant, said. “And, our first obligation is to ensure that we provide the kind of support system put in place where students have all the tools so they can give the attention that they need to the academic part of the process.”
Grades get diplomas.
“They should at least give you a chance to bring (the GPA) up, especially if you’re doing a good job with the organization and maybe, you know, you got really involved in the organization and that was what was causing your GPA to slip,” Terri Harris, Deep Release Poetry Society president, said.
Current students will not have their grades checked until the close of the spring 2014 semester, according to Sylvester.