Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Minus Debate

The opponents of the concept claim it will hurt GPA's, meanwhile the proponents claim it will not affect 'good' students or GPA's in general. A strong example was given by Sen. Pedro Morales, only the senator gave an opinion as a TA in the suit of a student rep. Yes, for Morales the TA it would be easier to grade, but for Morales the Student Senator how would it fare?

I also found a lot of truth in IRHA President E.J. Walicki's post, as well as a letter from Aimee Collins-Mandeville sent to my inbox in protest of it. Ms. Collins-Mandeville has accepted an offer to write a rebuttal at some point in the near future. I look forward to hearing from her and applaud her for using the Facebook as a means to organize students. Some leaders, like Sen. Jordan Loh give credence to groups of concerned students, joined together to lobby for an important cause (sadly some of his colleagues suffer from moral turpitude).

Boyles Ignores Survey Results

I guess it takes an Alligator article to prove my point. I made this point many days before the paper printed it and I have it in print that the editors of that paper actively read this blog. Whomever inspired their work, the case in point is that Boyles put out this survey (imo) to ward off the suspicious probes of the Alligator, only to carry out his will regardless of student sentiment. Regardless if this resolution will make things better at UF, why put out a survey if the results will have no effect on the outcome? I'm bad with some names, but this Sen. Bell sounds like a real character.

Ok, this is just plain ridiculous. While I can see the logic of Asian American student leaders looking to embarass UF and even SG by raising money on their own to build an institute, it's really not a pragmatic way to go about building their center. Property around the University is ridiculously expensive, upkeep would be monstruous, and while it seems to be taking forever, it's the University's responsibility (at least I think). Currently the total amount of money raised (according to the Alligator) is $2,000, which is great, but that's a million years from a house or center. The way to go is to keep lobbying for a center...if instead they go full throttle on using private money and throwing patience out the window, Asian Americans might only get a small tool-shed between the IBC & La Casita.

Last night I sent out out an email to the two mainstream presidential hopefulls asking them to tell my audience about the most important issue they believed in. Not as prospective candidates, but as students. I wanted to see what they had to say sans the armies of campaign writers and w/o all the red-tape involved during an election. So far I haven't heard from either of them. The deadline is tonight. I'm hopeful one of them will respond.

24hrs. later & neither replied.
Oh well, that's mainstream kids for ya.

Other Updates

James' interview, Grapski updates, and a few other projects & blurbs on the way. December will be a very cool month for Radikal-readers.


old school said...

Here is a pro wrestling pod cast with me cohosting. Figured if you all wanted to listen to it, even though none of you probably had any interest in pro wrestling. I know you would like it Christian.

Christian Duque said...

Gotta go teach, but I'll check it out when I get home:) Can't wait BROTHER!

Anonymous said...

The Hillel took over 10 years of fundraising and over 10 million dollars. It's gotta start somewhere. I'm glad to see someone step up and take the initiative around the school's stalemate. I wish the best for them.

Anonymous said...

Hell, I wouldn't reply to Christian's requests, either. At least the two of the candidates are smart.

Christian Duque said...

Well, it was an open-ended question and would have been an excellent opportunity to let more students know what kind of leaders they were. I told Josh about it on AIM, so I know at least one of the two knew, aside from the email.

I've got Argento,Carmody, & Grapski (in addition to current leaders of Swamp & the Opposition) writing to as well as visiting this blog...when I've got people with that kind of SG cred taking the time to write-in and agreeing to do massive Q&A's then I've reached the level I set out for this blog. No ill will towards either Moseley or Weiss, but rest assured I've already got all the big names involved with TR that I could ever have dreamed of. The Weiss/Moseley thing was something for the current era.

Christian Duque said...


I'm not knocking the concept of private fundraising, but it has its role. There should be a variety of fundraising pools and the lobby shouldn't boycott any of them. It's all green folks.

Anonymous said...

Argento, Carmody, and Grapski range from moderatley respectable has beens to never was losers. Big names give me a break Christian. No one born later than 1982 knows who any of those people are.

old school said...

I resent that last comment 4:59, I was one month old in 1982, I was born on December 7th, 1981, so I think I know a few people born after 1982.

Have a great friday night everyone, if you are in Tally, stop by the Leon Pub at 10:00, you will find me there celebrating a friends b-day. If you are in gville, good luck with finals.

Pedro said...

One thing about the minus grades:
This is Pedro, the student senator:

For graduate students, my vote against the resolution, pro-ing minus grades, I don't think it was a politically damaging vote.

Graduate students are broken down into Masters students and PhD students. MS students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA and PhD a 3.25. At least in my department, the least-performing students get a B in the class, because the graduate school does not allow you to repeat classes unless you get lower than a C (D+,D,etc).

Grad-level classes are harder, and professors are more lineant in the sense that the grades they would usually give out are A,B+ and B. A prof would give a C or C+ only if the student showed very little or no interest in the class. If a student had some problem that disallowed him/her from getting a better grade, the professor would opt to give the student an Incomplete and ask him to finish the work that was left behind. Of course, I can't speak for the professional schools, so this is only graduate school and my experience is confined to the Computer Information Science & Engineering department.

So for my constituents, the minus grades, I believe, would be beneficial, because as F.S. President Danaya Wright said, it gives faculty and grad TA's of grad classes, the ability to grade students on a more accurate scale. I totally sympathize and agree with what she said regarding the distinctive messages sent by a B+ vs. an A-. Before hearing her presentation I would have voted against minus grades.

Also, as an undergraduate student who always lived in the bottom of the bell curve (I very commonly missed the A by fractions of points, and Purdue not having B+ grades) my GPA was lower than what it would have been at UF. When I have time, I would offer to recalculate my Purdue GPA using both plus and minus grades, and I would not mind submitting it to the Senate and the Faculty Senate as evidence.

Prof. Wright convinced me. I think that minus grades have a chance to positively affect the GPA's of students like me, who miss the higher grade by a few points. Yes, they will put the crunch on students who think that a B+ is good enough, but aren't we all for academic achievement and high standards?

For PhD students, halfway through your degree, you take a departmental qualifying exam, before you advance to the research portion of your degree. Once you pass it, your GPA no longer matters, because you take research hours (CIS7979 or CIS7980) and for those credit hours, your grade is an "S", which doesn't affect your GPA. And who cares what grade you get in Programming Language Principles if you can prove kick-ass theorems or have really amazing ideas?

For the record, my undergrad Computer Science GPA was a 3.34 and my overall GPA was a 3.38. My grad GPA is a 3.65.

Anyways that was a bit of a rant but it is my overwhelmingly positive albeit unpopular support for minus grades.