ASUC Senate passes resolution to add context to GPA on transcripts

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The ASUC Senate passed a resolution requesting the implementation of contextual GPA data on undergraduate transcripts and introduced the first spring 2018 referendum for the ballot at its Wednesday meeting.

Academic Affairs Vice President Iyan Bullitt sponsored the resolution that asks campus administrators to add the average GPA of every major to transcripts. Bullitt and other ASUC members will meet with the campus registrar, the Student Information Systems team and a representative from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost this Friday to present the idea and negotiate its approval, Bullitt said in an email. He explained that contextual GPA transcript data are needed for employers and graduate schools to understand Berkeley students’ GPAs within the context of their schools and majors.

“Although many institutions recognize Berkeley’s grading traditions, many still don’t differentiate a Berkeley GPA from one at a school with grade inflation,” Bullitt said in an email.

The meeting will serve as space for administrators to review the technicalities of the proposal while ASUC members emphasize the importance of including the average major GPA on transcripts, according to Bullitt.

Bullitt learned that there is currently no existing campuswide policy on grade distribution — individual professors determine the grades in their classes, with departmental recommended averages. Data sent to Bullitt from constituents detailed how the campus’s grading policies negatively affect students’ internship and graduate school applications, he said in an email.

According to Bullitt, the initial proposal will include implementing contextual GPA data for students in every campus college, but if an agreement is not reached, ASUC members will negotiate a pilot program within one to three of the most feasible colleges.

“The senators have been very thorough in vetting both the purpose and construction of this bill yet have been mainly supportive of the purpose,” Bullitt said in an email. “I hope this resolution, if implemented, will positively affect students’ pursuit of higher education, internships, and industry employment.”

The Wednesday meeting also included the introduction of the first referendum for spring 2018 ballot. The referendum, which was transferred to committee for further discussion, would create a fee to provide funds for the bridges Multicultural Resource Center, or bridges, a coalition of seven campus student groups aiming to support low-income students and students of color.

The bridges fee would charge students $26 during both the fall and spring semesters and $13 during the summer term. The referendum currently does not have an expiration year and will be adjusted for inflation.

Bridges does not have a permanent on-campus location, sufficient professional staff, and limited funding that prevents the expansion of programming,” the referendum said. “Regardless of the fact that the coalition is one of the sole driving forces of outreach and retention of underrepresented students of color.”

Hannah Piette is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Hannah_PietteDC.