House President’s Council (HPC) Liaison Zoe Owens ’22 explained procedures for winter break move-out. Students should be receiving a slip of paper with a checklist on their doors. Students should also notify residential staff of when they plan to leave; emails have been or will be sent out by residential staff about specific procedures for dorms. College Government (CG) Vice President Francesca Lameiro ’23 asked about the state of hygiene in dorms at the moment, which has been significantly worse than in previous years. Owens responded that dorms may try to phase out paper towels, and kitchens may be closed if too unhygienic. Owens emphasized the responsibility of students to help keep spaces clean. Diana Paulsen ’21 asked if plastic gloves can be provided in bathrooms to help pick up trash; Owens responded to talk to residential staff or custodial staff.
Vice President and Dean of Students Sheilah Shaw Horton reminded students of her email from the previous week. Students must get their booster shots before they leave campus or over winter break — if students are not eligible for a booster shot yet, they should get their shots as soon as they are eligible. Additionally, Dean Horton explained that the rise in COVID-19 cases on campus at the moment is partially due to Thanksgiving gatherings; however, at the moment, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has the same COVID-19 case levels as it did in January 2021, so students should remain vigilant and avoid unnecessary travel. “I do not want Dower to be filled by Christmas,” Dean Horton said.
Dean of Faculty Affairs presentation
Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professor of Chemistry Megan Nuñez came to Senate to discuss Student Evaluation Questionnaires (SEQs). Nuñez shared that Wellesley College has been using the same questionnaire for approximately 20 years, and a committee is piloting a new evaluation with a new set of questions for a small set of classes (approximately 10%). The new questionnaire is called the Learning Experience Reflection (LER). They will be accessed from the same part of the Wellesley portal as SEQs and will remain anonymous, but they will be administered on Qualtrics, a more user-friendly website. There will be more specific numerical questions, which studies have shown are less biased, as well as other feedback questions. At the end of the LER will be a spot for student feedback. CG President Giselle Mota ’22 asked what happens to SEQs after submission; Nuñez explained that professors and department chairs receive them after grades are submitted.
Dean of Academic Affairs presentation
Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of American Studies Michael Jeffries discussed the responsibilities of the Office of the Provost. Mota brought up the credit/non deadline, which has been brought up at multiple Senate meetings. Severance Executive Senator Alexandra Brooks ’23 explained why students want to extend a credit/non deadline — many students have not received back a graded assignment by the current deadline, and MIT has a considerably later deadline than Wellesley does. (Wellesley students cross-registered at MIT must adhere to whichever deadline is earlier.) Lameiro asked what the process is to bring this concern to Academic Council. Jeffries replied that he intends to bring it to the Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy (CCAP) in the Spring semester, which will then bring the concern to Academic Council as a whole.