Undergraduate Council Meeting Minutes
January 27, 2014

Attendees: Kathleen Bratby ,  Sarah Fuller,  Richard Gatteau, Kane Gillespie, Norman Goodman, Joe Mitchell, Anne Moyer (Chair), Jean Peden, Peter Stevens , Scott Sutherland,

Minutes:

  1. Following a lively discussion around the minutes from 11.13.13, they were approved with some small changes.  

  2. The minutes from 11.20.13 that Norm Goodman revised were reviewed and approved with some small changes.  The group agreed that for all future minutes, numbers should be in numerical form rather than text.

    While reviewing the minutes, there was a discussion to clarify the official policy vs. enforcement for major declaration.  According to the bulletin, students must declare majors by the time 45 credits are earned.  However, as a matter of practice, students who receive financial aid are required to declare by 57 earned credits.  No registration block is put in place for non-financial aid recipients.
  3. The minutes from 12.4.13 were reviewed and approved with some small changes.

Honor Societies
Two honor societies asking for membership to be recorded on academic transcripts were reviewed.  A discussion to clarify the procedure regarding approval of honor societies resulted in agreement that all requests that meet the submission requirements, as determined by the Registrar’s Office, will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Council.

  1. National Residence Hall Honorary

    a) A concern was raised that although a very active student group, it is not academically based, but leadership based. The focus is not on scholarly excellence. The description is entirely based leadership and service.  It appears that students are selected primarily on their leadership skills rather than scholastic achievement.
    b) Conversely, it was suggested that the new if the new general education requirements will have an emphasis on service and experiential learning, there may be usefulness to recognizing such groups if they meet the criteria of academic standards.
    c) Norm suggested that service organizations are important, and they should be officially noted, but not on the academic transcript.  He recalled a past attempt to create a leadership and service transcript and recommended it be investigated again.
    d) There was a concern that approving the NRHH group may set a precedent for more service based groups across campus.
    e) Joe reiterated that if membership is listed on the academic transcript, there should be academic information included. If the only academic criteria is a GPA threshold, that's already on the transcript.  Membership should add academic information to the student record. NRHH does not.
    f) The application for recording membership on the academic transcript was denied  by the Council based on not meeting criterion #1 that states: “Members must be selected primarily on the basis of high scholastic achievement at Stony Brook University. “
  1. National Society of Collegiate Scholars

    a) A concern was expressed around the ability for freshmen to be members of the society without a significant history of demonstrated academic success.
    b) There was a discussion about whether or not the $95 fee is nominal or not. Some thought it's exorbitant. In comparison, $80 is for Golden Key.
    c) Scott raised a related issue that WISE was denied having membership listed on the academic transcript because they are not a 4 year program. NSCS acknowledges freshmen/sophomores primarily.   Joe reminded that there is not anything in the criteria about lasting 4 full years.
    d) Another concern was raised that the activities listed in the application were not clearly scholarly in nature.
    e) Based on these concerns, it was recommended that the NSCS group be asked for more information about when freshmen can be qualified, including what happens if their grades decline in future semesters.  They should also be asked to provide more information about the types of activities required by members, including what activities are done to promote academic scholarship.
    f) The discussion was tabled pending more information from NSCS.  

Respectfully submitted,
Jean Peden