Student Association : Assembly supports Maxwell’s independence

Student Association voted to support the creation of an undergraduate program in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at its meeting Monday night — part of a larger move to distance Maxwell from the College of Arts and Sciences.

The proposed separation of Maxwell and Arts and Sciences sparked debate across faculty in both schools and in University Senate last spring. Professors expressed concern the process was being rushed by the university and said several departments are too multidisciplinary to be housed exclusively in Maxwell.

The plans, proposed by the university administration, would give Maxwell more power to self govern, create a small, selective undergraduate program and capitalize on the prestige of the school. U.S. News and World Report ranks Maxwell as the No. 1 graduate school of public affairs.

SA passed the resolution in favor of granting Maxwell greater autonomy in decisions of faculty and curriculum, saying this would increase SU’s academic standing on the global stage.

Aside from SA’s leadership, undergraduate students have not made their opinions known when it comes to the proposed separation, said Neal Casey, chair of SA’s Student Life Committee. 

‘There has been zero input on it, and this is our chance,’ he said. 

SA hopes to present the resolution to USen to show students’ support for the separation, said SA President Jon Barnhart.

‘It’s something we can send to the administration to show our support,’ Barnhart said. 

The current outline for the changes calls for all social science majors to be housed primarily in Maxwell, but faculty are still planning the details of the separation, Barnhart said. 

SA’s resolution supports the creation of a program that would cover issues similar to those in the undergraduate courses currently offered by Maxwell, MAX 123: ‘Critical Issues for the United States’ and MAX 132: ‘Global Community.’

Allie Curtis, an Arts and Sciences representative and freshman political science major, said Maxwell’s reputation at the graduate level makes undergraduate students want the same recognition. 

‘It means a lot to the students who are in international relations, political science and policy studies,’ she said. 

• This year’s Remembrance Scholars signed on in support of SA’s resolution calling for the man convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 to be returned to Scottish prison. 

• Barnhart met with members of the off-campus neighborhood to discuss cooperation between students and people living in the area. ‘I don’t think we’re on the same page in terms of students’ role in the neighborhood,’ he said. ‘Their vision is to house, instead of six to seven students, a family.’

• SA is working on a ‘knowledge trading’ website that would allow students to post and then swap personal knowledge. ‘It’s kind of like sharing music, but it’s legal,’ said David Woody, chair of the Student Engagement Committee.


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