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VSU discusses changes to academic appeal process

On Thursday Oct. 19 at the Faculty Senate meeting, Associate Provost Sheri Gravett announced that VSU is changing the way students appeal academic suspension.

Gravett said that the current process involved too many steps, making the appeal process seem more tedious than necessary.

“What will happen is . . . they (students on suspension) will only go to one place,” Gravett said.

The process to appeal has been changed to an online form that students will be able to access through the Registrar’s page on the VSU website. Students will be able to add supporting documents such as an appeal letter or a note from a parent to help plead their case.

Gravett said that this form will be reviewed and assessed by a centralized suspension appeals committee made up of associate and assistant deans.

“I think that this is going to be a process that will help students and will allow us to develop a consistent approach,” Gravett said.

Upon assessment of the appeal, the committee will track the student’s progress and take note of common conditions seen in students under academic suspension.  Gravett said that VSU will use this information to adapt and help future students if they’re at risk of receiving academic suspension.

Gravett said that she has already talked to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Daryl Lowe about bringing the new process up with SGA.

The new process will go into effect in December. It will give students on academic suspension until the beginning of the spring semester, Jan. 7, to submit their appeal forms.

“The reason they’re doing this is so that the committee can meet, work with them, that they have time to go to an adviser, and get advised appropriately,” Gravett said.

She also said that this alleviates students of additional burdens next to the ones they already face at the beginning of the school year.

Internal Auditor Heidi Cox brought up Ethics Awareness Week, an event lasting from Nov. 13-15, and revealed that the ethics awards will be presented to people around campus to show what ethics means to VSU.

“We’re really going to be celebrating the spirit of VSU,” Cox said. “We’re going to kind of take spirit in terms of stewardship, prevention, inspiration, integrity, responsibility, and trust.”

Cox said that they will be bringing up a proposal for the awards with the Faculty Senate, as well as SGA. All faculty and students are allowed to nominate any other student or faculty member.

“We’re going to have a criteria, and we want you to tell someone’s story,” Cox said.

Cox said that VSU wants to hear stories of the nominees committing acts that would make them unsung heroes.

“There are stories of people doing things we never ever hear about, but we want to let them know that we appreciate them,” Cox said.

Anyone who receives the ethics award will obtain a certificate and be highlighted and have their story posted on VSU’s website.

“These are the stories we want broadcasted out this year,” Cox said.

Written by Bryce Ethridge, News Editor. Photo by Bryce Ethridge.

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