Adam Sacks

Three Student Government representatives are proposing the University hold fewer Friday classes.

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

While most students want to work less on Fridays, three Student Government members are pushing to work more.

SG representatives Cameron Crane, Adam Sacks and Tanner Long have composed an SG resolution asking the University to create more upper division Monday-Wednesday courses. Crane said this would give students Fridays off to work, intern or apply to graduate and professional schools.

“This isn’t [necessarily] adding more classes, because that creates an added cost,” Crane said. “This is just restructuring and shifting courses so that more Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes are offered on a Monday-Wednesday sequence.”

According to Crane, the resolution is being presented for academic purposes, not just as a way for students to have a free Friday. He said the free day would, ideally, increase graduation rates. 

“[Students] can pick and choose, so they can still work and still maintain full-time status,” Crane said. “Versus if they had to cram all of their classes on to Tuesday and Thursday, and not all of their classes for their major are offered that day, well then they might have to stay here an extra semester.”

Monday-Wednesday courses are currently offered in departments across campus, but, according to Crane, they are especially present in the McCombs School
of Business.

Leah Miller, director of academic services for McCombs, said that Monday-Wednesday courses are popular with students and faculty, but they limit the availability of a class and reduce the number of classes that can be scheduled on those days. She said they also create conflicts with Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes.

Marketing lecturer Bill Peterson has been teaching Monday-Wednesday classes for about seven years and said he prefers to do so because they allow the class to be more in-depth.

“I find that in Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes, typically they would be for 50 minutes each of those three days,” Peterson said. “It really isn’t enough time to get into any meaty discussions or exercises or even into a rhythm, in my experience.”

Currently, most Monday-Wednesday and Tuesday-Thursday classes meet for 75 minutes.

After meeting with an official from the Office of the Registrar, Sacks said, for the sequence change to be made, the students would need to talk with faculty members, do extensive research and come up with a detailed plan of action.

“My current curiosity with this issue is how it would affect very specific programs, like upper-division engineering classes, Plan II and [Business Honors Program],” Sacks said. “Programs of this type are very specific in how they like to structure their classes.”

The proposition will be presented at an SG meeting Monday, according to Crane. If the proposal is approved by the SG assembly, Crane said the next step in implementing it would be to continue research and present the idea to Faculty Council.

“If this passes, then we now know this is the official voice of students and this is what students want,” Crane said. “Now we’ll take it to the next phase of having discussion with faculty and seeing what their input is.”

While Student Government members hope to make student ID cards an eligible form of voter identification, some students have raised concerns about what this would mean for undocumented students. 

Adam Sacks, a College of Natural Sciences representative, said he is concerned that if student ID cards become a valid form of voter ID, the cards might visibly show the students’ citizenship status.

“I want to be sure there would be nothing that can incriminate the undocumented students on our campus,” Sacks said.

SG President Kori Rady said he hopes the necessary information would all be stored inside the IDs, so if a student were undocumented, it would not be visible on the card.

“We wouldn’t alienate anyone through this entire process,” Rady said. “From our initial understanding, [student ID cards] wouldn’t look any different from the way they do now.”

Bradley Englert, chief information officer of Information Technology Services, said if legislators were to amend the voter ID law to allow this, which would be necessary in order to make any changes to the current voter ID system, a student’s date of birth would have to be added to the ID.

“Some people might not be comfortable with that,” Englert said. “Some of our students aren’t U.S. citizens, so we’d also have to figure out how to convey that.”

On Tuesday, the SG Assembly unanimously passed resolution AR 6: In Support of Student Identification Cards from Institutes of Higher Education Meeting Voter Requirements in the State of Texas.

Some acceptable forms of voter identification in Texas include a Texas driver’s license, a U.S. passport, a U.S. citizenship certificate or a concealed handgun license. Currently, student ID cards are not an eligible form of voter identification in Texas.

Chris Jordan, SG chief of staff and author of the legislation, said the current voter ID system contributes to low student turnout in elections.

“Not having a stable form of ID for students who are out of state and don’t live in the Austin area, it’s really hard for them to be adequately represented,” Jordan said. “I think this is something that’s not only incredibly tangible but also incredibly helpful.”

Jordan said he has received support from administrators and students and would continue researching states with strict laws like Texas that allow the use of college IDs. 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have passed laws requiring voters to show some form of identification at polls, and the remaining 19 states use other methods to verify a voter’s identity.

Virginia will implement new voter ID laws in July that will make a student ID issued by any institute of higher learning in the state an acceptable form of identification. Thirteen states currently allow voters to use a student ID card issued by a school within the state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Texas is really unique that this law is so strict,” Jordan said.