While the efforts made by members of SGA to form the Student-Faculty Expectations Agreement are laudable, the overall document lacks the strength it should possess, needs more student input and does little to bridge the large gaps between students and the faculty. Many lines in the document are vague and will allow many different interpretations from the members of the faculty. The language in many cases will shield the faculty as opposed to holding them accountable. In order to give the document true power, the administration must give its full support and pledge to enforce it. Currently a professor who violates the process is not punished; a student’s grievance can simply be corrected.
The overall unilateral approach for the drafting of this document left many already disenfranchised students out of the process. The few students involved in this process are for the most part already well heard through their different forums with the upper level of student leadership. Many students who have legitimate grievances with faculty behavior were never informed about the ongoing process. With an issue that affects so many students, a campus-wide survey would have been appropriate.
Looking forward, a better liaison between students and faculty is needed before any real progress can be made. As it stands now, neither the faculty nor the student body have any reason to compromise and try to improve the situation since a stalemate will cause things to continue functioning as they have for years, and national publications will continue to point to the disconnect between students and faculty as a major detractor for the Institute as they also have for years. The administration must force both sides to sit down for a discussion where they come to a more amicable agreement and the major issues can be addressed and remedied.