News, On Campus

UGBC Asks Administration To Provide Academic Credit for ROTC Classes

After intense debate about the readiness of the proposal, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College Student Assembly passed a resolution encouraging the University administration to provide ROTC students with academic credit for their ROTC-required classes. 

The UGBC Academic Affairs Committee and Jack Bracher, Class of 2022 representative and MCAS ’22, sponsored the “Resolution Concerning Academic Credit of ROTC” during the UGBC meeting on Oct. 20.

ROTC students take additional classes at Boston University to fulfill ROTC requirements, though these classes don’t provide any academic credit and are not weighted into students’ GPA.

“Members of the Boston College ROTC community have expressed frustration with the absence of academic credit and grade point calculation for classes taken in addition to their normal workload,” the resolution reads. “… Some semesters this time is upwards of eight hours per week of lecture, not including out of class assignments which are as rigorous as standard classes.” 

Bracher suggested that the University evaluate classes on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they fit any core requirements or other criteria, such as by meeting with department heads and asking them for feedback.

“It’s a huge time commitment, not just in traveling to BU for class, but also it’s like another class,” Bracher said. “… I don’t know why BC doesn’t give academic credit. That’s why we’re working on this as a committee. With this resolution, we hope to take it to meetings with administrators to show them the voice of the Senate.”

Urwa Hameed, Class of 2022 representative and MCAS ’22, asserted that the sponsors of the resolution may not have conducted due diligence before bringing the issue to the floor. Hameed said that more information regarding BC’s reasoning should be gathered to understand the University’s position.

Bracher responded that the University’s primary reasoning was already known, which is that ROTC courses do not exactly line up with BC classes. The resolution, Bracher said, would provide a chance for conversations about changing the policy. 

Senior Associate Director of University Communications Ed Hayward told The Heights that the University is reviewing the issue but did not provide a reasoning for the current policy.

“This is an issue that has been under review,” Hayward said. “Policy changes regarding academic credit for ROTC courses are still under consideration by the Provost and the Provost Advisory Council.”

The resolution passed with 23 yes votes and two no votes.

The SA also unanimously passed a resolution for UGBC to send out a survey to international students in order to gauge what measures the organization should take to better international student experience. The survey would ask international students their home country and for concerns, feedback, and thoughts on the international student experience. 

The sponsor of the resolution, Hollie Watts, international student representative and MCAS ’21, noted the importance of surveying international students this year. 

“It’s especially important that international students are being surveyed at this time because of the challenges international students in particular face due to COVID,” Watts said. “In terms of uncertainty, due to housing, due to travel bans, family circumstances, as well as the hundreds of international students who are currently students studying outside of the United States.”

Featured Image by Keara Hanlon / Heights Staff

October 29, 2020