ASB Senate redefines faculty adviser responsibilities

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The Daily Mississippian

by Martin Bartlett
DM Senior Staff Writer
March 24, 2004

On the eve of class registration for next semester, the Associated Student Body Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would more clearly outline the responsibilities of advisers in the registration process.

The bill calls for the university to adopt some new policies and retool old ones in an attempt to make the advising process student-friendly.

It would also shift more of the responsibility of making sure students meet graduation requirements to their faculty advisers.

"It puts slightly more responsibility on your adviser to make sure you're taking the right classes," said Sen. Ryan Williams who co-sponsored the legislation. The bill calls for advisers to become more familiar with extra-curricular and internship opportunities students can use to supplement in-class learning. In addition, it seeks to end the long waits some students encounter while seeking advice.

It would also allow students more choice in who their adviser is. Advisers would have to undergo training sessions and familiarize themselves with the requirements of their respective school, college or department. In the future, online course registration software would also inform students what classes they need to take to graduate, according to the bill. The sweeping and lengthy legislation which passed unanimously also won the support of Provost Carolyn Staton, said Sen. Elizabeth Piazza.

Also at Tuesday night's meeting, Senators voted to make information sessions on the housing department's group billing policy a part of summer orientation programs.

According to university policy, residents of on-campus housing facilities are billed as a group directly to their bursar bills for vandalism or damage to common areas in their building. And, that creates end-of-the-year sticker shock for many parents, according to Sen. Josh Collum, who led the push for the legislation.

"We just want to make sure parents know," he said, noting that hundreds of dollars are often billed to students who might not be responsible. Sen. John Donovan, who co-sponsored the legislation, said when he lived in Stockard Hall, he was subject to $250 in fees as a result of the group-billing policy.

In other action, the Senate gave away $1,500 of the Presidential Contingency Fund to student organizations. Money in the use-it-or-lose-it fund not allocated by the end of the fiscal year will not carry into next year. The lion's share of the money -- $800 -- went to the Ole Miss chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The group is hosting a 13-school competition on campus this weekend.

"This conference is a good chance not only for the engineering department to look good, but also for the school," ASCE chapter president Brian Tenkhoff told Senators.

He said the total cost to put the conference on is about $26,000 -- most of which the organization has already raised.

Money also went to the UM Emergency Medical Responders. Senators allocated $500 to help the organization purchase equipment and start a scholarship. The organization trains first responders at the university and in the community to render aid until profession help arrives. The Ole Miss Paintball Club received $230 to buy equipment and new uniforms.

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