GSS passed a resolution allowing Ohio University students to change their grades to the satisfactory or no credit option for the Fall Semester, which was originally offered by OU during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic during Spring Semester 2020.

The resolution is an extension of a resolution that already exists, therefore allowing the same grading change to be in place for Fall Semester, Brett Fredericksen, commissioner of Academic Life: Research, said.  

“This is going to be the official recommendation from the Graduate Student Senate that’s going to get sent to the academic policy and process group endorsing the idea of extending the alternative grading system for undergraduate and graduate students,” Kaelyn Ferris, president of GSS, said. 

Instead of having students choose which classes they want to use this option for in the middle of the semester, they can now choose when their grades are finalized, Ferris said. 

GSS members also took on roles of the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students and will co-host the national meeting with the University of Kentucky. 

The National Association of Graduate and Professional Students is a nationwide organization responsible for representing the needs and concerns of both graduate students and graduate professors across universities. OU has been part of this organization at both the national level as well as the Midwest section, Frederickson said.

The organization nominates and elects leaders to direct board positions every year. These positions hold key parts in the operation of this organization to better benefit graduate students across the U.S., Frederickson said.

There were vacant roles that were filled by members of GSS on a volunteer basis in order for this resolution to be passed. Some of the roles will be opening within the year because graduate students holding that position would be graduating, Frederickson said.

OU will collaborate with UK to host the National Association of Graduate and Professional Midwest Regional Conference. Hosting this meeting would allow GSS to create content and put its feedback and ideas into the regional conference. It would also give GSS members an opportunity to do more networking with other universities across the country, Amal Shimir, vice president, said.

The idea to join with UK was due to the fact that it was the other most active member within the Midwest region. This meeting will now be held virtually, and it will allow OU to be put on the map for other universities who have not heard from them, Shimir said.

“We have been working on a lot of ideas to host conferences or events within the university … We can bring more ideas to the table, and I don't think it will take more than creating flyers, having ideas about creating content, what kinds of events and themes of the conference,” Shimir said. “It’s the same that we do for OU but on a bigger platform, which I don’t think would take a lot of work.”