SGA wants descriptions

The Student Government Association (SGA) wants students to know exactly what to expect when signing up for classes.


Lackluster course descriptions aren’t just an inconvenience to students but are also in violation of a federal law, said Gavin Caster, academic affairs chair.


The Academic Affairs committee has been working since last year to get more information in course descriptions, Caster said.


“Academic Affairs has communicated to the dean of every college a request that professors upload the current class syllabi,” he said. “And if that’s not possible, the most recent syllabi.”


They have also been pushing for the International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) of all textbooks used in the class to be posted, he said. By not posting the ISBN’s, the University is breaking a federal law.


“Basically, UVM doesn’t provide the ISBN of textbooks during registration, but the Higher Education Opportunity Act, a federal law, says that they have to be,” Caster said.


The Academic Affairs committee has been working closely with the administration to achieve all of these goals by the end of this month, he said.


“The administration has written to the deans about providing both the Enhanced Section Description and the ISBN’s at registration, asking professors to do so to the fullest extent possible,” Caster said.


Course descriptions aren’t the only changes that students will be seeing at the start of next semester.


New rules will be in effect that will change the way the add/drop period works, according to the Office of the Provost.


Adding a course after the first five instructional days will be at the discretion of the faculty member and will occur by means of faculty override,” the office of the provost stated.


Some students said they aren’t thrilled about this change.


“I think that’s too bad,” said senior Josephine Miller. “During my first semester here I had to add and drop a million classes, and it helped me figure out what I was interested in and wanted to do.”