The newly created student Committee on Examinations and Standing will meet with its faculty-run counterpart before the end of the school year, giving the student body a voice in academic matters.
The provisions in the "Rules and Procedures of the Faculty of Princeton University" require the meeting, stating that "whenever the Undergraduate Student Government shall establish a committee parallel to a faculty committee, the parallel committees shall at least once a year meet in joint session."
The faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing reviews student records and deals with "substantive issues affecting the entire student body," USG president David Ascher '99 said.
USG academics chair Todd Rich '00 said the meeting between the student and faculty committees is important because it marks "the beginning of a formalized forum for student input to be taken into consideration" in academic matters.
"I think it is a very positive step we are taking," he added.
Ascher shared the optimism, noting that the USG has been requesting student participation on the committee for the past three years.
When the student committee was established earlier this year, Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel was hesitant to allow the student and faculty committees to meet, citing the sensitivity of most of the subject matter that the committee handles.
There is "usually no business that is something other than what is related to student records," Malkiel said in a Feb. 18 'Prince' article.
Once President Shapiro added his support to the idea of the joint committee meeting, however, Malkiel was happy to give the meeting the go-ahead, Rich said.
"(Malkiel) wanted to go through the proper channels," Rich explained.
Malkiel could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Ascher said there should not be a conflict of interest because the USG is "not interested in having students review other students' records. Our interests lie in more substantive matters (such as) the P/D/F-rescind option and the scheduling of exams."
According to Ascher, the two committees will meet once before the end of this academic year and again at the beginning of the 1998-99 year. At these meetings, the faculty and student committees will have a chance to pose questions to each other to see which issues they would be willing to handle jointly, he said.
"Any deliberative process will benefit from the inclusion of all relevant viewpoints," Ascher said.
There is some doubt as to what form the relationship between the two committees will take once they begin meeting. Rich said he wants to avoid an "us-versus-them" relationship.
Ascher said that while the makeup of the student delegation is uncertain at the moment, the USG is considering its options.
"My impression is that we will bring about five members of the student committee to meet with the faculty committee," he said.