The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Students Express Academic Concerns Before Org. Congress

Academic reform and technology were two of the major topics that arose during the SGI Org. Congress on Oct. 17 in the D’Angelo Center.

During the academic forum portion of the meeting, students were allowed to ask academically based questions to Dr. Julia Upton, University provost, and
other high-level University officials.

John Marchi, junior senator, was the first to take the floor, asking if particular changes could be made to language requirements and placements in certain
levels. Jeffrey Fagan, head dean of St. John’s College, advised Marchi to see the director of the GLCC for special circumstances.

One student brought up an issue of professors setting up specific deadlines for online classes. The student said that professors had set deadlines for a Friday
for assignments due for that Sunday.

She assured the student that she would look into and handle the matter. “I can do something to communicate with online professors,” she said.
Upton, who teaches online classes as well, said she tries to notify her students of a posted assignment at
least five days in advance.

She also announced that changes had been made to provide students with studying areas. The D’Angelo Center will be open 24/7 during finals week and more quiet areas will be provided on other parts of campus.

A particular student asked if there was a way to monitor students respecting the notion of quiet in the studying areas. Upton suggested that SGI find a way to
ensure that quiet areas remain that way.

Several students asked questions of certain Information Technology-related issues. A student asked if anything could be done about the lack of Wi-Fi in dorms, and why it was only available in common rooms.

Joseph Tufano, vice president of Information Technology, told the student that IT had noticed some “dead spots” on campus and had been working to get
a connection to these areas. He also said the department had done a recent survey of weak Internet areas on campus. The survey was used to see how much it would cost to strengthen the internet connection. Tufano said Internet in the common rooms had been able to provide students with an area to work on their laptops together.

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors were also updated by their respective senior senators what each grade had been working. Elizabeth Sheehan, sophomore
senator, informed the room that the grade had been working to inform sophomores more on what they could do with their major.

Marchi said the junior class had been working with the career center on helping his grade transition into the real world. Marchi said one of the top things
he had been working on was informing on and encouraging the use of Linkedin.

Lastly, Ellen McBurney, senior senator, said the senior committee had also been working on new initiatives with the Career Center. She said the committee is working on information sessions aimed at helping students apply to graduate school. Others will look to help students apply for jobs, how to act during an interview and how to do a phone interview.

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