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The Minnesota Daily

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CLA student board listens to issues during open forum

CLA students discussed a variety of topics during the Thursday forum.

College of Liberal Arts students voiced their opinions to the College of Liberal Arts student board on Thursday in its first forum dealing with the University’s realignment process.

The process aims to transform the University into one of the top three public research universities in the world.

Students attending the open forum discussed topics such as the new honors college that will result from a realignment initiative, the teaching ability of teaching assistants and transfer-student treatment.

CLA Student Board President and political science junior Samantha Rydzik said the forum was an opportunity for students to bring their concerns to student government.

“We wanted to see if they were having issues that weren’t being addressed,” Rydzik said.

Bethany Khan, the student board’s academic co-chairwoman and first-year journalism student, said the board had e-mailed all CLA students requesting input.

“It was mostly about core requirements,” Khan said. “People wanted to know if there was anything we could do about them. There were also students concerned about transferring credits and how accommodating the University was.”

Jeff Holtz, a political science and sociology senior who moderated the event, said the CLA Student Board planned to take the concerns they heard to CLA Dean Steven Rosenstone.

The student board intends to act as a liaison between students and administrators to let them know what students want and care about, Holtz said.

“The dean does care about student life and acts upon our advice within his capacity,” Holtz said. “We haven’t yet had a way to bring students’ concerns to the dean so he can bring them to the administration.”

Holtz said CLA honors students would be affected by the realignment because they would be admitted to the new honors college rather than an honors program in their individual colleges.

“CLA honors will be no more,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen any time soon.”

Several transfer students at the meeting said the University didn’t accommodate their needs as it does for first-year students.

Because they can register only after attending the late-summer transfer orientation, they often get stuck taking classes they don’t need, they said. This is a problem because they often already have at least one year of school under their belt, and it can result in their needing a fifth year to complete requirements.

There also was concern that transfer students are privy to few scholarships because they can’t apply for first-year scholarships.

Holtz said he’d bring their concerns to the dean. He stressed that for anything to be fixed, they had to let someone know about it.

“Some students don’t even know there’s a student board here for them,” Holtz said. “Let us know what you’re concerned about and we’ll try to do something about it.”

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