SGA fields complaints about IUS staying open after storm

IUS Horizon

Flo Gonya, Student Government Association president and general studies senior, urged the SGA senate to address the complaints of students stemming from the wind storms from last Sunday.

Gonya said she received several complaints from students about professors who would not allow any flexibility in their attendance policies after the storms.

“A lot of times, once professors make up their minds, they’re not going to go back and make any changes,” Gonya said.

Gonya said she addressed the issue at the Faculty Senate meeting on Sept. 18, and said Gilbert Atnip, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said since IU Southeast is not a part of any local school systems, its administration independently makes decisions on closings.

Atnip sent an e-mail to all faculty asking them to consider the situations students may be facing with last week’s storms.

Gonya said Atnip suggested students talk to their professors directly about their absences last week, and SGA senators can sit in on those meetings as mediators and help clear up communication between students and professors.

“Some students may feel uncomfortable talking [to their professors] one on one, but senators can sit in,” Gonya said. “Just to sit down with someone in the corner can give students a little confidence. It’s definitely not to take sides, you have to be there as support.”

Gonya said if students don’t get satisfactory responses from their professors, they can follow up with a conversation with the dean of that professor’s school.

She said she doesn’t think the school was reasonable in staying open on Sept. 15, the day after the storms.

“Their argument is that they’re a separate entity,” Gonya said, “and as long as they have power, they’re going to stay open.”

She said she thinks the university should have some kind of policy on paper regarding flexibility in attendance policies during times of extremely bad weather.

In other business at the SGA’s meeting on Sept. 18, Seuth Chaleunphonh said the Student Life Committee is looking into adjusting the operations of the IUS Children’s Center.

Chaleunphonh said the SLC is considering changing the hours, as well as opening the Children’s Center to the public to help it rely less on Student Activity Fees.

Chaleunphonh asked the senate to try to get more information from students to give the SLC input on how to approach the changes to the Children’s Center.

He said the SLC hopes to make the changes by next Spring, and the SLC would look to local daycares and other IU campuses to model the new hours.

The senate also confirmed four new senators after suspending a section of their bylaws that would require them to consider the probationary senators during an executive session.

The new senators are Robbie Baker, computer science sophomore, Joshua Garcia, political science freshman, Kristen Klayco, journalism junior, Amanda Denbo, business management sophomore, and Lonnie McHugh.

Richard Sinnock, chemistry and business management junior, resigned from the senate and his position as senate chair. Joshua Cesar secondary education and mathematics sophomore, took the position of senate chair, and Amanda Denbo was voted into the position of senate pro-temp.

Senior Editor