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2015

2016

UNDERGRADUATE
STUDENT
GOVERNMENT

ANNUAL
REPORT

CONTENTS
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

5

HOUSING14

MENTAL HEALTH

6

COUNSELING & PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

6

RATE-MY-LANDLORD

20,000 BEARCATS

6

SPIRIT14-15

INTERNAL PROGRAMS

2 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING PORTAL

14
14

6-7

THE RUCKUS

14

PROJECT PORTAL

6

BEARCAT FRIDAYS

15

DEMOGRAPHICS REPORT

7

SIDDALL/CALHOUN MURAL

15

STUDENT GOVERNMENT MENTORSHIP PROGRAM7

GIVING TUESDAY

15

AFFORDABILITY8-9

SIDDALL CANVAS ART

15

STATEHOUSE LOBBYING

8

CAMPUS PROGRAMMING

NEW FEE APPROVAL PROCESS

8

FINDLAY MARKET & FOOD TRUCKS

16

BOOKSTORE PRICE MATCH

8

VOLLEYBALL COURT

16

INCLUD-ED

9

NONTRADITIONAL STUDENT FORUM

16

OPEN-ACCESS TEXTBOOKS

9

LANGSAM LIBRARY NAPPING STATIONS

17

COURSE EVAL TEXTBOOK QUESTION

9

FIRST DIRECTIONS

17

16-17

GOVERNMENT10-11

SOCIAL JUSTICE

17

ELECT HER

10

GENDER-NEUTRAL RESTROOMS

17

VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE

10

MCMICKEN HALL EQUITABLE ACCESS

17

GO TO THE POLLS!

10

AUTISM AWARENESS WEEK

17

GOVERNMENTAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

11

ACADEMICS18-19

CAMPUS POLICY

11

EXPLORATORY WEEK

18

OPPOSITION TO CONCEALED CARRY

11

CATALYST ADD/DROP

18

TOBACCO-FREE CAMPUS

11

MID-TERM GRADE POLICY

18

FIRE SAFETY / 2ND MEANS OF EGRESS

11

ACADEMIC FORGIVENESS

18

TRANSPORTATION12

COURSE EVALUATION PROCTORING

19

UC AIRPORTRIDE

12

SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION

19

KROGER SHUTTLE ROUTE

12

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING

19

UBER PARTNERSHIP

12

IT’S ON US CINCINNATI

19

NIGHTRIDE APP

12

CAMPUS SERVICES

13

MEAL EQUIVALENCY

13

INT’L STUDENT MEAL PLANS

13

CAMPUS CLOSING MEAL POLICY

13

RESIDENCE HALL RECYCLING

13

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 3

LETTER FROM
THE PRESIDENT
AND VICE
PRESIDENT

A MESSAGE FROM ANDREW NAAB AND
ANDREW GRIGGS
It’s been a fantastic year. From mental
health and campus services to school
spirit and social justice, we are incredibly
proud of what Student Government has
been able to accomplish this year.
When we originally set our vision, we
campaigned on a platform that touched
nearly every corner of campus. Some
of our proudest achievements have
been tied to those platform points - free
counseling sessions, expanded meal
equivalency, lower textbook costs - while
many others have been in areas we
couldn’t have even imagined. Our overall
goal was to fuel a Student Government
that makes a difference in your life, and
we hope that we’ve been able to do that.
We’re incredibly grateful to our Student
Government team for understanding
what it means to say “SG Works for You”.
This dedicated group of 100+ student
leaders has worked tirelessly to improve
your university experience. There is no
way we could even be publishing an
Annual Report without the combined
efforts of the whole team.
What you see inside this report
is a small snapshot of what Student
Government has been up to this year.
It would be impossible to include
everything, so we took a sampling from
each area of campus to give you an idea
of the highlights.

4 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

We strongly believe in accountability.
Though we’ve been able to achieve a lot
of what we set out to do, we were not
able to finish everything. Often, what
we were able to do was thanks to the
efforts of senators, cabinet members,
and our executive staff. In the interest of
transparency, items that correlate with
our platform are denoted with a blue
asterisk.
Lastly- thank you for the opportunity to
serve. It has been an amazing experience
and an incredible year. We know that
Student Government has a great group
of leaders for next year and we cannot
wait to see the organization build on this
year’s successes.

*

Reference our full original platform here:
http://sites.ucfilespace.uc.edu/sg/sites/
default/files/Platform%20PDF.pdf

Proudly Red & Black,
Andrew Naab and Andrew Griggs

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 5

MENTAL HEALTH

STUDENT GOVERNMENT MENTORSHIP
PROGRAM

COUNSELING & PSYCHOLOGICAL
SERVICES

*

Prior to this year, the University of
Cincinnati was the only state university
within the State of Ohio that did not offer
free counseling sessions to all students
free of charge. In partnership with
Student Affairs and the Provost’s Office,
we secured a permanent $450,000 budget
increase for Counseling & Psychological
Services (CAPS), which allowed for the
center to hire new staff and offer up to
5 free individual counseling sessions
per semester to any UC student. The
center also now provides free couples’
counseling, ADHD testing, and a host of
other services.

20,000 BEARCATS

*

Stigma is still associated with mental
illness, despite the fact that studies show
approximately half of all college students
will experience mental illness at some
point during their college life. To help
fight the stigma, Executive Director of
Mental Health Services Hannah Kenny
launched the 20,000 Bearcats campaign.
The week-long series of events had the
goal of erasing the stigma and bringing
awareness to the new services offered
at CAPS. There was a button campaign,
extensive social media coverage, and a
“Stand Up for Mental Health” event during
the UC vs. Miami (FL) football game which
was featured on ESPN. The result of these
promotions was a 157% increase in direct
services at CAPS for the fall semester over
the year prior.

PROJECT PORTAL

DEMOGRAPHICS REPORT

The Project Portal, designed during the
2014-2015 academic year by Web Director
(later Speaker of Senate) Tobi Akomolede,
gained steam this year. The Project Portal
is a transparency and accountability tool
for student Government, designed to
foster collaboration and informationsharing by containing a list of all projects
being actively worked on throughout
the organization. In Fall 2015, the Project
Portal went public (www.sgprojectportal.
uc.edu), allowing for any student to log
in and see what progress their elected
and appointed Student Government
representatives are making towards their
projects. Currently there are over 200
projects listed on the portal.

For the first time, Student Government
conducted a demographics survey and
published the results in an official 20152016 Student Government Demographics
Report. The reports shows statistics for
the membership of Senate and Student
Government in total, including race,
gender, college affiliation, Greek Life
membership, sexuality, and many other
categories. The goal of this report, which
will be produced annually, is to provide
a transparent view at how Student
Government does and does not reflect
the demographics of the University of
Cincinnati as a whole. The findings of
this report will be used to catalyze new
recruitment and diversity efforts in the
future.

After roughly seven years of hosting the
First Year Leadership Program, Student
Government split the leadership program
into two: the Student Government
Mentorship Program (SGMP) and
Emerging Campus Leaders (ECL). SGMP
was led in its inagural year by Co-Directors
Johnathan Avant and Veronica Nuñez.
The program was composed of roughly
35 first- and second-years who wanted
to get involved in Student Government
while also having a desire to grow as
leaders.
The program consisted of weekly
meetings educating the program’s
members on all the parts of Student
Government
including:
tribunals,
boards, senate, cabinet, executive staff,
and committees. SGMP continued the
tradition of pairing every member of the
program with a Student Government
member as a mentor, and each member
of the program also had the opportunity
to visit each Student Government branch
in order to gain a better understanding of
all the working parts.

With the re-purposing of SGMP it was
hopeful that members of the program
would have a better knowledge of
Student Government, have a higher
retention rate in Student Government,
gain a new group of friends, be
better immersed within the Student
Government environment, and develop a
better understanding of their leadership
style. As this year comes to an end, it is
exciting to see that six members have
been appointed as cabinet/executive staff
directors, three have been elected as atlarge senators, two have been elected as
tribunal senators, two have been selected
to be a part of the Student Activities
Board, and one has been elected as a
tribunal president. There are also many
other program participants who became
heavily involved in their college tribunal
or a senate committee or were elected to
a variety of other leadership positions on
campus. We look forward to seeing where
these SGMPers go!

INTERNAL PROGRAMS
6 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 7

AFFORDABILITY

STATEHOUSE LOBBYING

*

Andrew Naab and Andrew Griggs, along
with Speaker of Senate Tobi Akomolede,
Director of Federal Policy Rachel Motley,
and Director of State Policy Shannon
Reid, joined a UC delegation in Columbus
over the summer in order to advocate for
a tuition freeze & increased state funding
for public universities. They met with
a number of legislators and aids at the
Statehouse to make the case for college
affordability.
In the end, the state government froze
tuition through the 2016-2017 academic
year, and increased state funding for
public universities 2% for two straight
years.

OPEN-ACCESS TEXTBOOKS

NEW FEE APPROVAL PROCESS

*

Much of the growth in college costs has
come from exploding college fees over
the past decade. These fee increases
often receive less attention than tuition
increases. In order to ensure that the
student voice is present when these fee
increases are proposed, we advocated
for a policy that requires every college
fee increase to be presented to Student
Senate or a College Tribunal prior to
approval by the University President and
Board of Trustees.
We hope that this new policy, which has
been adopted by the university, will cause
administrators to think twice about fee
increases and ensure that they are in line
with students’ best interests.

8 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

*

BOOKSTORE PRICE MATCH

*

During the past year, we lobbied
extensively to have the UC Bookstore
provide more competitive prices for
books and other course materials. As a
result, the UC Bookstore instituted a new
price match guarantee.

INCLUD-ED

*

Alongside the Textbook Affordability
Committee & Vice Provost Gigi Escoe,
Student Government has advocated for
the use of the IncludEd fee model for
course materials. The model allows for
required online workbook components
to be purchased by the university at
a reduced bulk rate, then added to
students’ bills directly so that financial aid
can be available to help cover the course
materials’ cost. Dozens of courses adopted
this model during the past year, with an
average savings of 40% per student.

*

Student Government brought to the
university’s attention that the Intro to
Co-op and Professional Development
courses’ textbooks were written and
produced by UC faculty, but only available
for a cost through the UC Bookstore. With
the intellectual property owned by the
university, these books were easy targets
for cost savings. As a result, ProPEL has
committed to re-write the textbooks and
provide them for free online.

COURSE EVAL TEXTBOOK QUESTION

*

Occasionally course materials are
assigned that are never used in class, or
that cost a lot without providing much
tangible benefit to learning. In order to
feed this information to professors and
department heads, Student Government
advocated for the inclusion of a question
about course materials in course
evaluation surveys. Thanks to help from
Vice Provost Gigi Escoe, this question
will be included when the new standard
survey is implemented in the upcoming
year.

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 9

GOVERNMENT

ELECT HER

VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE

Elect Her is the only program in the
country that encourages and trains
college women to run for student
government
and
future
political
office. Participants practiced hands-on
campaign skills, heard from inspiring
local speakers, discussed research on
women in government, and addressed
the need to expand the pipeline of
women candidates and to diminish the
longstanding political leadership gender
gap. This year, Elect Her at the University of
Cincinnati included over 70 participants.

As an extension of National Voter
Registration Day, Director of Federal Policy
Rachel Motley organized a campus-wide
registration drive in preparation for the
Ohio Primary Elections. Over the course
of the 2015-2016 academic year, Student
Government successfully registered over
400 students to vote.

GO TO THE POLLS!

GOVERNMENTAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

On November 3rd, 2015, the Director of
State Policy, Shannon Reid, spearheaded
Go to the Polls. Student volunteers
collaborated on MainStreet to encourage
student participation in the political
process and increase awareness about
off-year elections. Over 300 students
were assisted with finding their polling
locations and provided information about
the issues and voting processes. Several
students registered to vote for the 2016
elections. As a result of Go to the Polls,
Student Government was able to identify
and address a desire among students for
more information on how to participate
in the voting process and highlight the
significance of off-year elections.

The Governmental Leadership Summit
is an annual event hosted by Student
Government that brings together
university leaders, community leaders,
state legislators, and students. The
objective of the dinner is two-fold:
to introduce political leaders to the
significant accomplishments (and needs)
of the university over the past year, as well
as to give political leaders a platform to
speak to students about leadership.
The keynote address was given by City
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. Over 90
other guests were in attendance.

OPPOSITION TO CONCEALED CARRY
Student Senate debated and passed a
bill in opposition to House Bill 48, which
would legalize concealed-carry on
campus. This position was in line with the
university’s Chief of Police and many other
university and police leaders throughout
the state. The legislation is still pending
before the Ohio legislature.

TOBACCO-FREE CAMPUS

FIRE SAFETY / 2ND MEANS OF EGRESS

Student Government led a movement
alongside Graduate Student Governance
Association and Faculty Senate to endorse
moving the entire university towards
a tobacco-free policy, placing it in line
with Medical Campus. This conversation
has been many years in the making, and
finally this year all 3 governance bodies
were able to agree to the policy. President
Ono has convened a committee with the
goal of transitioning the university to
tobacco-free within 12 months. This will
truly be a transformational change for
our university, joining over 1000 other
universities across the United States that
have made this move in the interests of
the health of their students.

As in years past, Student Senate again
endorsed state-level efforts to require a
second means of egress from 3rd floors
of shared houses or apartment buildings.
This endorsement follows a deadly
house fire at the University of Cincinnati
in 2013; the deaths may have been
avoided had there been a second means
of egress from the attic of that house.
Proponent testimony was provided to the
Ohio Senate in favor of Senate Bill 205,
alongside testimony from President Ono.

CAMPUS POLICY
10 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 11

TRANSPORTATION

UC AIRPORTRIDE

*

This past year, Student Government
volunteers served hundreds of UC
students by providing free rides to the
airport for Spring 2015 exam week,
Fall 2015 Thanksgiving Break, and Fall
2015 Exam Week. The program, aimed
especially towards out-of-state and
international students, performed better
than expected and well under cost
estimates.

*

KROGER SHUTTLE ROUTE

NIGHTRIDE APP

MEAL EQUIVALENCY

As the Kroger near campus closed for
reconstruction, Transportation Services
launched a new shuttle service to
the Kroger on Kenard Avenue that
had been spearheaded by Student
Government member Trenton Pfister
during the previous academic year.
Ridership numbers all this year have
been exceptionally high; from September
to March (7 months total), there were
over 13,000 riders. The shuttle route
will continue until the new Kroger is
completed in Fall 2016.

One of the biggest problems that UC
students have with the NightRide service
is the unpredictable nature of the phone
reservation system. It can be difficult to
make a reservation over the phone while
in a loud environment, and it can often
take a long time during peak hours for the
call to get through to dispatchers. Student
Government worked alongside Public
Safety and UCIT to ensure the timely rollout of the NightRide app at the beginning
of Spring Semester 2016. The app solves
many of these issues and will hopefully
in the future increase the program’s
efficiency. There will be a full marketing
blast this coming fall to introduce the
app to all of campus, although the app
can already be downloaded by anyone
by searching “UC NightRide” in the app
stores.

This year, Student Government formed
a partnership with Food Services to
explore the possibility of expanding
meal equivalency. Our goal is to increase
the number of on-campus eateries that
accept swipes for meals.

UBER PARTNERSHIP
Student Government has begun an
investigation together with Public Safety
and various other departments across
the university to see what a partnership
with Uber could look like. Some schools
use Uber exclusively as their point-topoint university shuttle system (like our
present-day NightRide). There is potential
that a partnership with Uber could help
augment the NightRide fleet during hightraffic times such as Thursday, Friday, and
Saturday nights when wait times are high
and all vans are in use. This could prove
to be a more sustainable growth option
than simply expanding NightRide as has
been done in the past.

12 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

This partnership resulted in a 5-week
pilot program at Papa John’s at the end
of Spring Semester 2016. In the first 2
weeks alone, over 6000 swipes were used.
We hope to demonstrate that there is
demand for meal equivalency, and to find
a way to fold these costs into the meal
plan structure in order to continue meal
equivalency for future years.

INT’L STUDENT MEAL PLANS
We heard from international students that
it was frustrating that their meal plans
did not cover from the time they arrived
on campus to when Welcome Weekend
starts – typically around a week. To cover
the gap, we worked with Food Services
to have international student meal plans
extended for a week for Fall 2016, with a
plan to find a long-term solution for the
future.

CAMPUS CLOSING MEAL POLICY
Students living in “satellite housing” –
residence halls situated off-campus such
as Campus Park – found it hard to use
their meal plans last year when campus
was closed for winter weather. In advance
of this year’s winter season, we worked
with Transportation Services to make sure
that the BTS busses would still run during
“cold weather” closings. For poor road
condition closings, when the BTS busses
would not run, we struck a deal with Food
Services to have meals delivered to these
halls in advance of the closings.

CAMPUS SERVICES

RESIDENCE HALL RECYCLING
In October of this past year, the Siddall
Hall Recycling Pilot Program was
launched. This program was developed
between Student Government, the
Residence Hall Association, the Office of
Sustainability, housing, housekeeping,
and sustainability advocates. The purpose
behind the pilot program was to improve
the recycling process in the residence halls
on campus. To do this, 28-quart recycling
bins were purchased to put inside every
Siddall residence hall room. Recycling
that begins in the room will make
residents more likely to use the recycle
bin on their floor, which results in more
items being recycled by housekeeping.
The pilot program was a success, and the
Residence Hall Association now intends
to roll out individual room recycling bins
at all of the remaining residence halls on
campus.

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 13

HOUSING
GIVING TUESDAY
This past fall, the Campus Life Committee
hosted Student Government’s annual
#GivingTuesday event on Tuesday,
December 1st. As a part of our Giving
Tuesday event, a canned food drive
was held on the front steps of TUC and
students assembled care kits for Matthew
25: Ministries in the Atrium of TUC.

THE RUCKUS

OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING PORTAL

*

After signing a contract with OffCampus Partners this past year, Student
Government in conjunction with the
Wellness Center officially launched
the Off-Campus Housing Portal for UC
students. The portal allows students to
view listings, post sublets, and match
with roommates for off-campus housing.
As of spring semester 2016, the portal has
had over 100,000 page views with more
than 120 active property listings.
Visit www.offcampushousing.uc.edu to
see for yourself!

RATE-MY-LANDLORD

*

All year long beginning with the
RevolutionUC hackathon in spring 2015,
Web Director Brian Adams worked hard to
put together a functioning website that
would allow UC students to post ratings
of their landlords and properties in one
location. The idea is to put the power of
the off-campus housing decision back
into the hands of students by calling out
landlords with poor service records and
properties that fail to meet expectations.
Brian wrote the code from scratch and
the website will hopefully be prepared to
launch this coming fall.

14 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

Together with Athletics, the RallyCats,
the Student Athlete Advisory Committee
(SAAC), and the Bearcat Bands, Student
Government helped launch THE RUCKUS,
the official branding for the student
section upon the re-opening of Nippert
Stadium in Fall Semester 2015. The goal
of The Ruckus is to increase school spirit
and participation at athletic events across
the board (not just football). Until this
year, the UC student section never had
an official identity. The launch of this
branding effort brings the university
in line with many other top athletic
programs in the country and has been a
project many years in the making.

SPIRIT

Two barrels will filled for the Freestore
Foodbank and 100 care kits were
assembled. Students who volunteered
their time to help host the event also
earned service hours for the university.

BEARCAT FRIDAYS

SIDDALL CANVAS ART

Student Government, in partnership
with Bearcast Media and alongside
the university’s many spirit groups
(including RallyCats and the Bearcat
Bands), continued the tradition of Bearcat
Fridays by hosting a weekly “radio show”
on MainStreet. The first Bearcat Friday of
the school year featured the unveiling
of The Ruckus, while subsequent shows
attracted crowds with performances by
the band, interviews of UC students and
administrators, recaps of recent sporting
events, and announcements of upcoming
events on-campus.

As part of an overarching effort to
bring more spirit to campus, Student
Government
worked
with
the
Planning+Design+Construction
office
to design a new spirit banner for Siddall
Hall lobby, hopefully the first of several
among the residence halls. The new
canvas will be installed during Summer
Semester 2016.

SIDDALL/CALHOUN MURAL
Treasurer Phelps, along with many
other members of Student Government,
spearheaded the “Make Your Mark”
campaign, a design contest for a mural
to cover the concrete staircase by the
Siddall/Calhoun complex. A winner was
selected, and the mural will be installed
during Summer Semester 2016.

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 15

CAMPUS PROGRAMMING
GENDER-NEUTRAL RESTROOMS

FINDLAY MARKET & FOOD TRUCKS
Student Government partnered with
the community to bring food trucks to
campus for several “Food Truck Friday”
events, which saw hundreds of students
come out to enjoy the local food options.
In addition, we partnered with Findlay
Market to host three “Pop-up Findlay
Market” events which brought groceries
and local food options to campus during
the closure of the Kroger next to campus.

VOLLEYBALL COURT

NONTRADITIONAL STUDENT FORUM

LANGSAM LIBRARY NAPPING STATIONS

With Scioto Hall beginning renovations
this past academic year, the sand volleyball
court and Student Activities Venue was
removed to make way for construction.
Student Government worked diligently
with Planning+Design+Construction to
identify an alternative location for the
sand volleyball court and grill pavilion. In
Spring 2016, President Ono committed
that the volleyball court would be
installed in the Dabney Hall courtyard
during the Summer of 2016, to be opened
in time for the beginning of the upcoming
academic year.

The Nontraditional Student Forum held in
November was formed to seek ideas and
opinions from all nontraditional students;
transfer, commuter or otherwise, and
bringing student government members
out to hear and act on what was said!
Student Government partnered with
Transform into Bearcats, a student
organization aimed at tackling some
of the problems transfer students face.
Of course, this forum was only a start.
Looking into the future there are plans
to hold one at the beginning and end of
each semester to tackle new issues and
update students on the progress of old
issues! Despite how many nontraditional
students we have (over 1,000 transfers
a semester, many commuters, etc.) they
often slip into the background, but this
was and is a big step in changing that and
recognizing our peers come from many
different backgrounds.

DAAP Senator Tim Hawk, Speaker of
Senate Tobi Akomolede, and others in
Student Government and UC Libraries
collaborated in order to bring the
University of Cincinnati its first napping
stations. After identifying the need
through campus surveys, the team
ordered a number of oversized beanbag
chairs to be placed at the back of
Langsam Library for use by UC students
in need of a nap. Following an analysis of
the napping stations’ usage, more may
be placed elsewhere on campus in the
coming future.
FIRST DIRECTIONS
Student Government kicked off the
academic year by hosting its annual
“First Directions” program, in which SG
volunteers provide directions and answer
questions from first-year students on the
first day of class.

*

In collaboration with the office of
Planning+Design+Construction, Student
Government worked to advocate for the
importance of gender-neutral bathrooms
across campus. As part of this advocacy,
Student Government identified many
bathrooms as candidates for conversion
to gender-inclusive. Many of these were
converted, including all of the restrooms
in Van Wormer Hall.

MCMICKEN HALL EQUITABLE ACCESS

AUTISM AWARENESS WEEK

The University of Cincinnati campus is
difficult for people in wheelchairs to
navigate, owing to its compact layout
and hill terrain. Although every building
is accessible to wheelchair users, this
accessibility is not necessarily equitable;
it can often be very cumbersome.
Director of Disability Services Isaac
Gibson identified McMicken Hall as a
building that needed better access for
wheelchair users, and he worked with
Planning+Design+Construction to create
a project that involves a new ramp on the
west side of the building. This project will
be put into motion during the upcoming
academic year.

UC Autism Awareness Week is a weeklong event which sought to raise
awareness of and promote acceptance of
the autism spectrum through a variety of
planned activities. It included an informal
educational talk, a showing of the film
Mary and Max, a stop-motion film about
two pen pals who bond over how they
both find the world confusing, and an
outdoor bake sale, the funds of which
went to the Organization for Autism
Research (OAR).

SOCIAL JUSTICE
16 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 17

ACADEMICS
COURSE EVALUATION PROCTORING

EXPLORATORY WEEK

*

This spring, student leaders from A&S
Tribunal (led by Nicole Price) and CEAS
Tribunal (led by Emily Demjanenko)
hosted the first-ever Exploratory Week.
Over 70 classes were offered from a
variety of A&S, CEAS, and DAAP majors
for students of all years to shadow.
Students used this opportunity to explore
alternative academic paths and to gain
a deeper understanding of their own
current majors. The plan is to bring back
Exploratory Week next year in a way that
is even bigger & better!

CATALYST ADD/DROP

*

The paper add/drop process is a pain
for students, especially when obtaining
all of the required signatures involves
trekking across campus or tracking down
a particularly elusive signer. The new
Catalyst student information system, set
to replace OneStop’s functionalities over
the upcoming year, will contain a new
electronic add/drop process that will be
simpler and quicker for students to use.

MID-TERM GRADE POLICY

ACADEMIC FORGIVENESS

Students can sometimes go all semester
without receiving any feedback (grades)
on their work from their professors.
To rectify this situation, the Academic
Affairs Committee drafted a proposal
for a mid-term grade policy. This policy
would require faculty to provide students
with an informal interim grade some
point before the official withdrawal
date. The committee, led by Chair Danny
O’Connor, met with members of the
Provost’s office and Faculty Senate and
conducted research on other institutions
with similar policies. In February, Student
Senate unanimously passed a resolution
in support of the new policy. At this
time, the Vice Provost of Undergraduate
Affairs and various other members of
the Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Committee are working with Faculty
Senate to encourage adoption of this
policy, and UCIT has pledged to tweak
some of the functionalities of Blackboard
to allow for the use of non-final letter
grades partway through the semester.

Grade forgiveness is a newly proposed
policy through which students would
have the opportunity to be forgiven of
grades in classes they performed poorly
in after changing their major. The class
grade would be eligible for forgiveness
provided that it was no longer a required
course for the student’s new major. The
policy would be used alongside the
existing grade replacement policy, but
would not require students to re-take a
class in order for the grade to be forgiven.
Throughout the year, Danny O’Connor
(Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee)
met with members of the Provost’s office,
Faculty Senate, and fellow students to
build a proper framework for the policy.
In February, Student Senate unanimously
passed a resolution in support of the new
policy. At this time, the resolution is up
for consideration by the Faculty Senate
and has significant support from the
administration.

In order to increase the quantity and
quality of course evaluation responses,
CEAS Tribunal set up a program where
student volunteers would talk about
the importance of course evaluations
in freshman classes at the end of each
semester. Often, students don’t take
course evaluations seriously because
they don’t understand how important
they are to faculty and department
heads. This program resulted in higher
evaluation rates for the freshman class
and has the potential to be replicated in
other colleges.

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING

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In conjunction with the Student Wellness
Center, Student Government developed
two new bystander intervention programs
set to be launched in Fall Semester 2016.
The first, titled “Raising the Bar”, will assist
local bar staff and establishments with
increasing their awareness of alcohol
impairment and sexual violence. It seeks
to promote an environment of safety in
local bars by teaching staff how to identify
predatory behavior, and then how to
properly intervene. The second is titled
“Bringing in the Bystander” which uses a
‘community of responsibility’ model to
teach bystanders how to intervene safely
and effectively in cases where sexual
violence may be occurring or where there
may be a risk. The message of this program
is that everyone in the community has a
role to play in ending sexual violence.

IT’S ON US CINCINNATI

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This year, via the coordination of
Cincinnati City Councilman PG Sittenfeld,
a community task force was created to
combat gender-based violence within
the Greater Cincinnati region. This task
force is comprised of leadership from
the following: The City of Cincinnati; the
Cincinnati Police Department (CPD); the
University of Cincinnati; Xavier University;
Cincinnati Christian University; Cincinnati
State; the Norwood Police Department;
Women Helping Women; SANE: Sexual
Assault Nurse Examiners (Butler County);
GCCCU: Greater Cincinnati Consortium of
Colleges and Universities; the Hamilton
County Prosecutor’s Office; Cincinnati

Public Schools; and the United Way of
Greater Cincinnati. The Task Force is being
co-chaired by Kristin Shrimplin, Executive
Director of Women Helping Women,
and Kate Lawson, Title IX Coordinator
at Xavier University. On this committee,
the UC Student Government has been
instrumental in working with the Office
of Vice President Joe Biden, Civic Nation,
Generation Progress, and the city to
organize a city-wide press conference on
April 16 and to host a campaign rally in
Fall Semester.

SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION
18 | UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

2015-16 ANNUAL REPORT | 19