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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Free Lot Stays; Plus/Minus Grading Scale on the Way?

by Emmeline Elliott

Issue date: 3/1/07 Section: Senate Notes


The Free Lot will get to keep its name.

Vice President of Finance and Administration Rick Straka released a statement at the Minnesota State Student Association meeting yesterday that said based on public debate and student feedback, President Richard Davenport decided to bring closure to the issue by announcing Lot 23 will remain free next year.

The Parking Advisory Committee (PAC) had recommended creating a $20 permit fee to pave and increase lighting at Lot 23 during the Feb. 15 open forum discussing parking issues.

MSSA President Gabe Afolayan, who read the statement to the student senate, said Lot 23 would still be paved.

The statement said a final announcement of the PAC recommendation would be made at a later date.


The MSSA passed a motion asking university academic affairs to draft a plus/minus grading policy and present the grading scale to the senate.

"Students have clearly said they want improved academic standards," said Off-Campus Senator Jason Schilling, citing an MSSA survey from last semester that showed the second most important issue students want the senate to concentrate on is raising academic standards. "This is a perfect way to exercise that."

Schilling emphasized this motion would be only to draft a policy regarding the plus/minus system and that senators could debate the content of a policy when it was later presented.

Afolayan said this policy would address grade inflation on campus. He said that while Minnesota State has great students, the GPA is increasing to a point that the perception of the accolade is not as elite and has less value.

Results came in about a week ago of a survey asking 624 random students how they felt about a plus/minus grading system based on a one-to-five scale, said College of Business Senator Brett Fleck. The tally was nearly split five ways.

"There's as many students on both sides of the issue and the equal distribution tells me there isn't a consensus one way or the other," Fleck said.

Afolayan said a plus/minus grading system might motivate students to study more.


Freshman Isha Shrestha was elected to an undeclared seat. The Nepali native said she wanted to join MSSA because no other organization gives every student a chance to share his or her views.

Shrestha noted a couple of issues she would like to work on. She said she has noticed there are not enough on-campus jobs for international students. She also said she felt it was not very easy to see an academic advisor.

Emmeline Elliott is a Reporter staff writer