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USG affirms language of P/D/F and exam paper referendums, discusses past changes to the Honor System


Olivia Ott ’20 and Ben Press ’20.

Photo Credit: Brad Spicher ’20 / USG

In its Nov. 17 meeting, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) affirmed the language of three referendums regarding the Pass / D / Fail (P/D/F) system, a proposed standing Sustainability Committee, and a call to the University to investigate the quality and ease-of-use of the paper used in examinations. The sponsors will begin collecting signatures tomorrow. 

The exam-paper referendum, sponsored by Joshua Theodore ’23, is a response to the difficulty of erasing and writing on the type of paper used during in-class examinations. In his explanation of the referendum, Theodore claims that replacing the paper will allow the examinations to be more fair and reflective of the student’s knowledge, not their writing speed. 


The P/D/F referendum calls for a reform of the current policy by “allowing students to remove a PDF that they have placed on a class within a week of the end of the same semester,” according to the meeting informational packet. 

USG voted to change the language of the proposal to create a standing Sustainability Committee with an elected chair who will be a voting member in the Senate and will create a charter for that committee to lay out the direction for its functions. 

Olivia Ott ’20, Academic Chair, and Ben Press ’20, U-Council Chair, discussed recent key changes to the Honor System in the past two years, including updates to the Honor Committee’s website, and additions of a dean on call and professional investigators to Honor Committee proceedings.  

USG confirmed Matthew Weatherhead ’23, Anne Grinder ’23, Dylan Shapiro ’23, and Yujin Angolio ’23 to the Honor Committee. According to Dina Kuttab ’21, there were 17 applications this year, almost double that of years past. 

There was a brief discussion with Director of Gender Equity and Title IX Administration Regan Crotty and Head of Butler College and Stuart Professor of Psychology Nicole Shelton about the University’s recently released Title IX reports. The possibility of SHARE peers for graduate students was raised, and there was also conversation on the CPUC ad hoc Committee on Sexual Climate, Culture, and Conduct

USG also raised concerns about the new voting platform Election Runner, which was utilized in the 2023 Class Council election, and its functions. 


The meeting was held at 8 p.m. in Lewis Library 138.

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