By Fiona Wagner
A new academic policy set to take effect Sept. 1 will remove a potential conflict of interest between professors and students appealing their marks.
Under the current policy, professors who are also department chairs assess students’ appeals of marks, even if they are the ones whose marking is being questioned.
Under the new policy, which was expected to be ratified at Tuesday night’s academic council meeting, someone other than the chair within the school or department will process the appeal if there is a conflict of interest.
RyeSAC executive assistant Dennis Loney, who counsels students going through the appeal process, said the new clause is more fair. “The policy itself was damaged,” Loney said. “When a student is filing an appeal [against a chair], they’re filing it to the person they’re appealing against. I think right away it puts into the student’s mind ‘Okay, the process isn’t even fair—it’s a joke.’”
Other policy changes will give students 15 days to file appeals after a professor rejects a formal complaint—up from the current 10-day period—and allow students to appeal mid-term marks.
RyeSAC is offering students some free advice to make tax season a little less painful.
Students got their taxes prepared for free by student volunteers Monday in the first of four clinics to be held on campus.
Vladimir Vasilko, RyeSAC’s v.p. development and finance, reinstated the program last year after a five-year hiatus with help from the university’s Business Students Association.
“I liked the idea and saw its potential,” Vasilko said of the service, which cost RyeSAC $2,500. “It has worked out really well.”
Most of the 80 volunteer tax advisors—who were all trained by Revenue Canada—are accounting students, with 30 to 40 working in the clinics at any given time. The volunteers expect to fill out a couple hundred student tax forms, but the clinics are also open to students’ families and community members. A chartered accountant and three senior business students are also on hand to answer any questions.
Vasilko said the service is “a win-win situation.” The students get their taxes done for free while the volunteers gain experience in their field.
Students can sign up for an appointment at the RyeSAC office. The remaining clinics will take place March 8 in the Olive Baker Lounge and March 13 and 15 in A60, the lounge across from the RyeSAC office.
Students are asked to donate a nonperishable food item in exchange for their finished tax form.