New GE approved by Student Senate

Student Senate approved a resolution Monday supporting the addition of a fifth general education category for UW-Eau Claire students comprised of courses in the Colleges of Business and Professional Studies.

With the new category, students can take zero to six credits in the two colleges.

Except for interdisciplinary courses, there were no courses from the two colleges offered in the GE curriculum.

Sarah Bolstad, director of Student Organizations Commission, said she likes the added category.

“I think it’s great for those people who aren’t prepared (to pick a major),” said Bolstad, who added it also would keep students who change the college their major is in from wasting earned credits.

On-campus Senator Matthew Wisnefske said he thinks the category will damage the others.

“It seems like we’re shortchanging GE II, III and IV,” Wisnefske said.

Senate’s Student Services Director Nate Keiser disagreed. Considering the current budget deficit issues, he said, “we need to do everything we can to get students to graduate on time.”

Student Senate also approved in its resolution Monday for the university to form a “University-Wide General Education Committee.”

The committee, which University Senate members have not included students in yet, would set standards for courses to be general education.

University Senate set aside the motion for the committee until next Tuesday.

Freshman Eric Ristau spoke against the overall resolution due to the lack of specifics on the general education committee and the amount of student representation to be on it. He also wanted University Senate to say what classes would be offered in the category.

“They don’t know what classes are going to fit in there,” Ristau said.

Vice President Matt Flaten said the exclusion of students was not done on purpose.

“It’s not an intentional thing – it’s an oversight,” Flaten said. “I don’t think we will have problems getting students on this committee.”