News Briefs

USUAA releases initiatives

The Union of Students UAA recently passed a resolution to ask professors to help keep the cost of textbooks down.

According to a report signed by student government president John Roberson III, he met with the Faculty Senate executive board to share ideas on how students and faculty can work together on textbook pricing. Roberson also met with the Faculty Senate president to organize a panel discussion on the merits of placing student course evaluations online in the IDEA program that will be activated at the end of this semester. Student government reports that it will ask a new question each week so students can weigh in on those issues with student government.

Residence Hall travels

Multiple members of the UAA Residence Hall Association went to California this month for a Pacific Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference. USUAA travel grants and the association are funding the majority of conference and travel expenses. The association is eligible for a student housing program of the year award issued in relation to the conference.

Debate team earns kudos

The Seawolf Debate Team earned finalist honors during a competition of the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate’s National British Parliamentary Debating Championship in Edmonton.

The Seawolves entered as two teams and debated topics ranging from faith-based arbitration in civil courts to responding to China’s investments in African nations. The team of Michael Rose, a senior majoring in political science, and Ben Ferguson, a junior majoring in philosophy, advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament.

UAA at ethics conference

The Division of Student Development sent three UAA students to the National Conference on Ethics in America. Tyler Eggen, Eddy Ozoma and Brandon Telford attended the conference at West Point. It included student discussions about ethical challenges college students face and small group projects that addressed moral and ethical development. The students elected to attend the event, who work for student housing and the information desk in the Student Union, were selected for their leadership, contributions to UAA student life and their interest in ethics in education.

Palin criticizes school study

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Governoor Sarah Palin recently sent supportive letters to principals of seven Alaska high schools branded as “dropout factories” in a Johns Hopkins University study.

Palin also offered to talk with any student from those schools considering dropping out.

The seven Alaska high schools mentioned in the study are Ben Eielson Junior and Senior High School, Lathrop High School, North Pole High School, Bethel Regional High School, Wasilla High School, Dillingham Middle and High School, and Barrow High School.

The study did not look at published graduation or dropout rates, which are publicly available, according to the governor’s report. It compared the number of seniors with the number of freshmen from four years before.

The retention rate method used in the study does not take into account that some students transfer to other schools, according to the governor’s report.

In the letter to the principals, Palin noted that Alaska, like other states, does have a serious dropout problem. She added that her administration stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” in educating Alaska’s youth.