Senate votes on professor evaluations, discusses judicial branch

The Student Government Association’s Senate voted in support of a change to professor evaluations and discussed bringing back a previous branch to the organization Jan. 26.

The organization’s members voted 22 – 2 in favor of a new evaluation method.

The method, which will go before the Shared Governance Committee, would allow online, anonymous evaluations that focus on teaching effectiveness, according to the proposal. The current process focuses on teaching and course effectiveness.

Members also discussed resurrecting the judicial branch.

“Long ago before most of you were in Senate, we voted to remove the judicial branch,” said former Vice President of Senate Jane Gallups. “We realized that we messed up. It was a huge mistake to take away this whole branch because it threw off the checks and balances. When we voted on it, we were a fairly young Senate, and we didn’t think about checks and balances.”

Although many members were in favor of bringing it back, some thought the suggested change to the group’s constitution needed more work.

Part of the addition would allow current executives to appoint members for the following year’s judicial positions.

“I don’t really like the idea of a former president appointing (someone) for a new president because at the same time you could also have two apposing sides in an election and there could be an appointment made,” said Senate member Hugo Dante.

Senate also had guest speakers discuss Connect 1 and Higher Education day.

Director of athletics Mark Linder said a rise in students considering suicide needs to change at UNA, and he suggested a partnership between Senate and athletics.

He brought two bracelets for each student in the room which said, “I am more than a like” and “Connect 1.” He encouraged students to keep one and pass one to someone they see eating alone or in need of a friend.

Members from the Higher Education Partnership of Alabama discussed the Higher Ed Day event, which will be Feb. 23.

“Higher Education Day provides a perfect opportunity to remind Alabama’s political leaders of the need to improve the university appropriations,” according to the group’s website. “The Higher Education Day Rally is Montgomery’s largest annual advocacy rally.

“By having a large number of attendees, the universities let legislators know that we are not only concerned about the funding of higher education. We also remind them that the universities have a large and involved voting block.”