Grades plebiscite passes

ASUS receives student approval to move forward with grades issue

The results of the ASUS fall by-elections have been released, and ASUS has introduced seven new members to Assembly.

The at-large ASUS representatives to the AMS are Jason Verbeek and Forrest Donaldson. The first year ASUS rep to the AMS is Liam Dowling.

The 2016 year society President and Vice-President are Nicole Raymer and Chelsea Wilson, respectively. The 2018 year society President and Vice-President are Toros Canturk and Hadiya Ma, respectively.

ASUS President Adam Grotsky said voter turnout for this year’s by-elections went up to 31 percent, in comparison to last year’s 17 percent.

Grotsky, ArtSci ’15, said ASUS tried new things this year to get students to vote — creating an elections Facebook page to give more direct attention to the elections, as well as creating an ASUS app purely for elections that allowed students to vote directly through the app.

The by-election also included a plebiscite that asked whether students wanted ASUS to pursue placing a mode of comparison — course averages, medians, or percentiles — on official academic transcripts or not.

The plebiscite saw a majority “yes” vote with 67 per cent, while 33 per cent of students voted “no”.

Grotsky said that from here, ASUS will try to figure out why so many students voted no.

“Yes, it was a majority, but it was also a bit surprising that 33 percent did say no,” he said.

“I want to make sure that we do have strong student support for this, and that’s where we’re going to do a bit more to reach out to those students and see, the ones who voted no why they voted no, and see what we can do to ease their concerns.”

Grotsky said the cost and feasibility of placing a mode of comparison on academic transcripts will need to be identified, and that this might become the standard University-wide. “Due to a change about five years ago to standardized transcripts, it may come down to every faculty needing to make this change alongside Arts and Science,” he said.

“If that happens, it will require a much larger campaign to make everybody aware that this is going to happen, and if it does, ensure that every society and perhaps even the AMS is getting involved too.”

He added that he was pleased with this year’s election overall, especially the fact that it was competitive.

“We’re very happy that we had competitive elections this year, which we haven’t had much out of previous years,” he said.

“That speaks volumes to the engagement levels we’re seeing with the University as a whole this year — I think people are taking more steps to get involved in the democratic process.”

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