ASCWU calls for additional learning materials

Mitchell Roland, Editor-in-Chief

Following a year of complaints from students, both the ASCWU Senate and Executive teams released resolutions last week that said some professors have not done enough to adapt to remote learning.

In the resolutions, which were announced on March 2, ASCWU wrote that “a number of current CWU faculty have not been providing students supplemental learning aides” and that “students are struggling to learn course materials without these aids.”

The resolution called on the office of the provost to release a statement or policy which “mandates ALL CWU faculty to provide students with recorded videos or real-time online lectures.”

Senior Michael Cichak said while he learns best through interacting with a professor, he has struggled with video recorded lectures since there’s “very little clarification.”

“For me, I’ve been struggling to essentially teach myself,” Cichak said. “I have a professor this quarter, who at the beginning of the quarter said ‘hey, this is who I am, here’s some reading assignments’ and then has just been stacking assignments on us left and right.”

Cichak is in the College of Business, and he said for the most part his professors have provided him additional materials. However, he has run into issues when taking general elective classes outside of the college.

After nearly a full year of virtual learning, Cichak said professors should have adapted better.

“You would think they would have things more ironed out and would have had time to prep better online classes with more structure,” Cichak said. “It feels like we are right back into spring quarter of last year, where everyone was caught off guard.”

One of Cichak’s complaints is how long it has taken some professors to input grades. In one of his classes, the professor took over a month to grade a business proposal that students had to build on throughout the quarter.

Cichak said when he has gone back to look at his grades, assignment comments and the rubric he was graded on, he felt they were copied and pasted without any customization.

While Cichak said he appreciates ASCWU and administrators trying to solve the issue, he wishes “this was done sooner considering it’s been a year.”

“It’s one of those things where like, yeah, it’s awesome, thank you this really helps,” Cichak said, “but it’s also a little late.”

ASCWU President Mickael Candelaria said he’s heard stories similar to Cichak’s since the spring quarter of 2020. At that time, ACWU contacted Provost Michelle DenBeste to discuss how to provide students additional learning materials.

“This has been an issue for almost a year now,” Candelaria said. “And within summer and fall quarter, we still had students bring up this issue of their faculty member or instructor not providing them either a recorded lecture or a real-time online lecture.”

Candelaria said he’s had four classes since spring 2020 without any supplemental learning materials, “so it’s really just me learning on my own.”

“But I’m still paying faculty, I’m still paying the same amount of tuition,” Candelaria said.

When the student senate tabled on campus during the first week of classes, Candelaria said many students came up to say the issue is still ongoing. Over the quarter, ASCWU has communicated with administrators to “see if we could just handle this internally.”

Madeline Koval, the ASCWU senate speaker, brought the complaints to Faculty Senate Chair Elvin Delgado and DenBeste. Candelaria said after two weeks “there didn’t seem to be much of a change.”

Candelaria and Koval later met with DenBeste and Delgado to discuss the issue and brainstorm a solution, since Candelaria said “it seems like there’s quite a bit of faculty that haven’t been really teaching.”

“We decided to do a resolution after that meeting because we felt like there needed to be more public pressure, more public input, especially from students,” Candelaria said. “I think we’ve got a lot of student buy-in, which is what we were really seeking.”

Candelaria said there are portions of faculty, including the Douglas Honor’s College, which have pivoted well to mostly online learning.

“We have great faculty and professors that are working extremely hard,” Candelaria said, “but then somehow there’s a small margin that has been managing to slip by.”

If a student has had an issue with a professor, Candelaria recommends direct messaging him on Twitter so that their name can be added to the list. The student’s identity will not be disclosed on the list.

“I have a lot of hope because I think Provost DenBeste and administration are really starting to realize the negative impact of faculty not providing lectures,” Candelaria said.