Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, December 03, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Overload petition process should be more flexible

By Thresher Editorial Board     1/18/17 8:00am

This week at the Student Association Senate, the Approval Threshold Committee presented their recommendations for changes to the overload petition process in light of the credit hour cap (see p. 2). Though the recommendations have not been finalized, the Thresher supports the committee’s work in providing a flexible solution to a process that currently feels cumbersome and bureaucratic.

As the committee is working on presenting more tangible details in their recommendations, we would like to suggest some possible improvements to the current system for consideration. For instance, in the spirit of doing away with rigid guidelines, perhaps involving the professors or college masters of the student seeking an overload petition directly in the process or allowing them to write letters of recommendation could allow for more equitable decisions.

Another point of concern is the appeals process: It is crucial that any appeals to overload petitions are considered by an entirely different group than the one that denied the petition in the first place.



Furthermore, we do not believe administrative offices should be the sole entities reviewing the program on a regular basis, because without direct student input, we do not think it is likely that problems will be identified and rectified.

As the Approval Threshold Committee finalizes their recommendations and presents them in February to President Leebron and Provost Miranda, we encourage the student body to reach out to the committee in the meantime with their own suggestions and concerns, thus making sure that a greater diversity of opinion is represented in the process.

We also hope that these changes are followed up with future efforts to review course loads for heavier majors such as those in engineering, to ensure that the credit hour limit does not impose an unreasonable burden on any student.



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 11/30/21 11:21pm
It’s past time to bring Chick-fil-A back to The Hoot

For those of you who are seniors, you’ll remember a campus controversy that broke out in April 2019 when The Hoot announced its decision to stop serving Chick-fil-A amid criticism of its donations to three organizations — the Salvation Army, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — that have taken anti-LGBTQ+ stances. When the policy took effect the following fall, I spoke out against the decision in this paper, arguing the secondary boycott was nothing more than token enforcement of an unworkable standard. I still believe that we shouldn’t take into account political considerations when we eat. But The Hoot didn’t budge, and the controversy quickly faded away. I have close friends on both sides of the issue, so I didn’t push the matter any further.

OPINION 11/30/21 11:19pm
We need proactive academic policies

We’re nearing the end of another semester in the COVID-19 pandemic, filled with policy changes requiring flexibility from administration, faculty and students alike. We appreciate the administration’s responsiveness to the evolving pandemic, but the continuous changes are not without consequences. This semester has been hard on many students’ mental health due to insufficient academic accommodations on top of pandemic-related stress. While we understand the necessity in being flexible with COVID policies due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, administration and professors should recognize the impact this has on students and their mental health, and be proactive in accounting for this.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.