Senate discusses VAPA credit and holds elections

Reagan Ritterbush

Senate of College Councils passed two pieces of legislation Thursday evening involving the current Canvas plagiarism system and VAPA credits.

The first piece of legislation, Senate Resolution 1613, passed unanimously in support of an opt-out system for the Canvas plagiarism software. According to the resolution, the opt-out system will automatically include all assignments in the plagiarism detection software iParadigms. The system does not currently automatically run papers through the software, so professors have to submit each assignment individually.

“Having to continually run papers through the system becomes tedious for teachers,” academic integrity co-chair Seth Krasne said. “Some professors don’t use the software for this reason and so plagiarism goes undetected.”

Krasne, a business honors and Plan II sophomore, also said the opt-out system will increase the quantity of assignments being checked for plagiarism and account for professors who either do not know how to opt-in or think the system is too difficult to use.

“The most effective method for using the iParadigms proprietary device would be the implementation of an opt-out system,” Krasne said. “We want to make it easier for professors and students to adhere to the UT Code of Conduct.”

The second piece of legislation, Senate Resolution 1615, also passed unanimously in support of expanding the VAPA credit to applied fine arts classes, which students currently do not receive VAPA credit for.

“Despite clear engagement and participation in the performing arts, these students are having to seek VAPA credit elsewhere,” academic policy co-chair David Jenkins said. “This defeats the purpose of the credit, which is to ensure that students have a comprehensive education at UT.”

Senate members also elected Austin Reynolds as Senate president-elect and Luciano Barraza as Senate vice president-elect.

Reynolds, current Senate vice president, said as president he hopes to work with University Health Services for optimal services and create a course review committee.

“Senate has been an integral part of my time at UT and an equal part of my life for the past four years,” Reynolds said. “I hope that this new opportunity gives me the ability to do even more for this campus.”

Barraza said as vice president he hopes to address UT’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

“I want to make sure, as students of UT, you have the ability to express your concerns to the Senate,” Barraza said.