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Student Congress supports publishing professor evaluations

Jan. 30, 2004

By Rachel Hartgen, reporter

Student Congress passed several allocations and unanimously voted to support efforts to publish faculty evaluation forms Thursday.

Student Congress unanimously approved a resolution to support publication of faculty evaluations in hopes the public information will assist students in class registration and hold professors accountable.

'Students have no central resource or objective voice to inform them about the multitude of professors and their various courses and teaching styles,' the bill read.

Under the proposal, a database of faculty evaluations would be compiled for students to view via the Internet using their Baylor ID. Other suggestions to the system include altering current evaluation forms to eliminate the multiple-choice format and providing class statistics to students.

Backed by Student Congress, the bill will be carried to the Faculty Senate next Thursday by juniors Jamie Gianoutsos of Humble and Student Body President Jeff Leach of Plano.

'We'll face strong disapproval,' Leach said. 'But this is something that needs to happen.'

Gianoutsos suspended traditional rules to push the bill into second reading - Student Congress' constitution requires a proposal to be presented two, separate times _ in order to gain Student Congress members' support before next Thursday. In addition, Gianoutsos will present the Faculty Senate with a student petition. More than 2,000 signatures are expected.

Another issue discussed were the Student Life Fund allocations to campuswide events that resulted in low attendance which have produced recent concerns over allocation amounts and events.

In light of the issue, Student Congress approved a $3,400 allocation to assist the second annual Latina Conference, but only after Student Congress approved an amendment to reduce the allocation from the original $4,000.

The conference Hispanic sororities Gamma Alpha Omega, Kappa Delta Chi, Sigma Iota Alpha and the Hispanic Student Association will hold the seminar featuring national speaker Jackie Guerra to speak on Latina issues facing women. Invitations to universities and Hispanic seminar featuring national speaker Jackie Guerra to speak on Latina issues facing women. Invitations to universities and Hispanic organizations throughout Texas hope to draw a crowd of 200. Half of the audience members are expected to be Baylor students.

Jimmy Mitchell, finance chairman and Porterville, Calif., junior, questioned the allocation, asking congress members to consider projected event attendance and the target audience of the conference. Student Life Fund regulations require all allocations to benefit the entire student body.

Isaac Haas, senior class representative and Dallas senior, said the conference doesn't meet this requirement.

'This event is not aimed at Baylor as a whole,' Haas said. 'The SLF shouldn't be used to fund outside students.' Mitchell agreed. 'We are paying a lot of money for few people to attend events,' Mitchell said. 'Paying $3,400 for 100 people to attend an event isn't wise.'

Allocation sponsors Gianoutsos, Leticia Silva, a Houston freshman, and Alicia Reyes, a Laredo junior, rallied support for the conference. The three encouraged congress members to pass the allocation to support campus diversity despite budget concerns.

Legislation continued as Student Congress unanimously approved a $3,950 allocation to fund the second annual Bearathon, a Student Foundation fundraiser for scholarships.

Before the night ended, Student Congress approved a bill to support efforts to bring the proposed George W. Bush Presidential Library to Baylor. Student Congress will look to form a committee to plan for a visit from President Bush. Bush will visit the applicants' campuses later this spring.