Undergraduate and graduate student government members are pushing to reinstate a system to allow students to evaluate their teaching assistants. The Graduate Student Associations Council and the Undergraduate Assembly drafted a teaching assistant comment form and plan to form a committee to hear student complaints on TAs. The two groups hope the finalized version of the comment form and the new committee will help increase students' feedback on TAs' performance. The groups jointly passed a resolution in 1985 to implement both TA evaluation forms and comment sheets. But although the evaluation forms have become a fixture in the classroom at the end of each semester, the TA comment forms were only in practice for one semester. As a result, students could only critique their TAs at the end of the semester on the all-encompassing evaluation form. The draft, currently under review by both groups, asks students to "tell us any positive and/or negative thoughts they may have on their TAs." Students who respond with their comments will be "contacted and advised as to who he/she should see regarding their comments." Members of the new committee, composed of UA and GSAC representatives, would advise students and "provide counsel as to the proper authority" to consult with on problems. All comments would be kept confidential. "We have no problems with the evaluation forms, as far as comment forms or the committee goes," said Gretchen Hackett, vice president for academic affairs for GSAC. "We have no desire to thwart students in pursuing grievances." Hackett said she supports implementing the comment forms, but feels that the fine points of the process have not yet been ironed out. "The proposal is essentially vague," Hackett said. "We need a meeting with the UA." UA members agreed that a meeting with GSAC is necessary before any plan can be adopted. "We'd like to see that [implementation of the comment forms] happen, but before we move we'd like a meeting with GSAC," said Brandon Fitzgerald, who chairs the UA's committee on TA evaluation. "We want to establish a committee that will be agreeable to everyone."Comments powered by Disqus
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