At the April 19 Student Government (SG), there were two major topics of discussion: the new student evaluation system for rating professors and funding for the Tiger East End Express (TE3).
Currently, RIT has a rating system for students to evaluate their professors at the end of each quarter called Online Course Evaluations (OCE). However, Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) chair Michael Laver explained that the current OCE was originally intended for the evaluation of online courses before it was adopted by the majority of the academic departments.
AAC plans to replace OCE with another, potentially more effective rating system called SmartEvals, where students will be asked to rate their professor and course through seven core questions, two open ended questions and other questions the department chooses to add. For example, AAC hopes to measure the student’s motivation in the class by asking if they attend class regularly.
Some of the SG representatives raised concerns that this might not be an effective question since the professor’s teaching could be the reason for students’ lack of attendance, rather than a lack of motivation.
The main goal for the change is to standardize how professors are rated and to provide “a common measure of teaching effectiveness,” said Laver. The new rating system will be implemented with the switch to semesters.
One of the last items on SG’s agenda for the day was to discuss the future of the TE3. Currently, it runs from Saturday at 10:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday. The two main concerns addressed were whether to extend the hours of the TE3 and how it will be funded in the future.
Currently, RIT is footing the bill for the TE3 which in the coming year will be about $21,000 per semester. However, SG advisor Karey Pine mentioned that alternate funding needs to be found. SG bounced around ideas, such as asking local businesses for support or forming a partnership with the University of Rochester bus route.
Vice President Sarah Thomas then asked the representatives to focus on whether there should be a charge for students hoping to ride the bus. There was a vote with 16 representatives in favor of charging students and 11 against. From there, the group held another vote determining that the cost should be $20 per semester or $1 per ride.
After determining a price, SG decided to not expand the TE3’s hours until they had a solid source of funding for the expenditure.