‘Effective immediately’ often present in new policies

‘Effective immediately’ often present in new policies


Although phrases like “grandfathered in” and “effective immediately” are phrases which may not mean much to some people, these are phrases UNA students are familiar with.

Over the past 12 months, the university has implemented four major policies with these phrases attached to it.

In September 2017, Chief Financial Officer Evan Thornton announced that the university would no longer be issuing refund checks. He announced this change of policy at the September Board of Trustees meeting. This policy was effective immediately.

Several students, including senior Sam Mashburn, were upset about the lack of notice regarding the policy, that the university was not allowing current students to stick to the original policy and the lack of notice regarding the Student Government Association.

Mashburn wrote an editorial for The Flor-Ala to publish noting several issues he saw with the new policy that the university may not have considered.

“As a student of the University of North Alabama, I am discouraged and honestly outraged at my university’s decision to no longer follow through on its promise to award students the entirety of the scholarships they earn,” Mashburn said. “I encourage all students who see the unfairness of this ruling to email members of our university’s leadership, and show support for the students of our beloved university.”

In the summer of 2018, the university announced it was changing its policy regarding tuition. Students would pay the flat-rate it would cost to take 15 hours if they took between 12 and 18.

This policy was also not grandfathered in with new students and was effective immediately.

At the beginning of fall 2018, the university announced students graduating in December would be allowed six tickets for friends and family to attend their graduation.

After student protests on various social media sites, the university announced it would change the policy to include three different ceremonies and require no tickets.

SGA President Chase Holcombe said SGA members were not consulted on any of these decisions.

“So just being completely transparent, we had somewhat of a disconnect in the decision making process,” Holcombe said.

The athletic department announced a new policy regarding bags being brought into home games. This policy became effective for the first home game, days after the university announced the policy.

Holcombe said this policy was not discussed at the athletic shared governance meeting so SGA representatives could give feedback on the policy.

“We did not have representation,” Holcombe said. “We are all learning from this, and hopefully we can avoid a breakdown in the future.”

The latest policy the university is looking at changing involves changing the grade point average scale.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Ross Alexander said the university values student opinions in these decisions.

SGA is currently discussing how it will vote regarding the change of policy.