ASG offers free tutoring to help with large classes

Elaine Helm

The Associated Student Government Senate meeting adjourned after only 34 minutes Wednesday night, but not before senators passed a bill to offer free tutoring to students in large introductory classes.

1835 Hinman Sen. Mike Blake, who proposed voting on the issue immediately, said the action would award senators more time to discuss spring funding at next week’s meeting.

“To go into funding with as few bills as possible will be in our best interest,” said Blake, a Medill sophomore.

Arts Alliance Sen. Joel Richlin and Allison Hall Sen. Tamara Kagel, a candidate for academic vice presidential candidate, proposed the tutoring bill.

Richlin and Kagel modeled the plan after successful programs at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Black House and Northwestern’s athletic department, Richlin said. Existing programs use graduate students, professors and Evanston community members as tutors.

“We have three great models to build from,” said Richlin, a Weinberg junior. “These programs are run very efficiently and very effectively. We’re not starting from scratch.”

“I initially thought of this because I’m an economics student, and I needed help to pass stats,” he said. Richlin said he took Introduction to Statistics for Social Sciences three times and paid three tutors $35 an hour before passing.

Members of the academic committee will survey students to determine the classes with which students need help. Kagel, a Speech sophomore, said she expects the most responses for classes like General Chemistry and Introduction to Sociology.

The plan also is part of Kagel’s campaign platform for academic vice president.

Richlin said he spoke with incoming Weinberg Dean Daniel Linzer about the program’s feasibility before writing the bill. Linzer said he would consider the issue after ASG proved there was student interest, Richlin said.

“The dean’s response was, ‘If students ask for it, we’ll consider it,'” Richlin said.

Also at the meeting, Speaker of the Senate Kawika Pierson urged senators to refrain from campaigning for executive offices on Senate’s time. Campuswide ASG elections are Tuesday.

“Because I’m in tight with the election commission, there will be none of that,” said Pierson, a McCormick senior and head of the election commission.

In his officer report, ASG President Jordan Heinz told senators about the plan he recently submitted to gain student representatives on the Board of Trustees. The plan calls for two undergraduates and one graduate student to be added to the board as non-voting members for two-year terms.

Heinz, an Education senior, said he hopes to learn the decision of the board in two to three weeks.