Petition to John G. Finneran Jr. & Trustees
Reverse decision to close Eckerd College's 39 year old Program for Experienced Learners
Since the decision was announced on Sept. 9, 2016 to discontinue the Program for Experienced Learners, a large number of students, faculty, and alumni have expressed grave concerns. Seeing a program as successful and long-running as PEL abruptly close because "it can no longer compete" immediately drew suspicion. After months of research, an increasing number of people are outright challenging the motives behind the closure.Eckerd College President, Dr. Donald Eastman took meetings with several students and alumni in an attempt to address our concerns surrounding the closure. However, most left with an even greater feeling of deceit. Upon receiving a signed declaration outlining concerns and suggestions, Dr. Eastman's first words were "I don't appreciate being lectured to." He and his staff then went on to make the case for closure, which does not hold up to scrutiny. After hundreds of hours of due diligence, there is strong reason to believe that PEL was targeted for closure years ago and intentionally starved of adequate resources until enrollments declined to a point where closure could be financially justified. The fact that PEL continued to deliver a superior academic experience to adult learners for so long and under such circumstances reinforces the need for such a program. Furthermore, it speaks to the quality of the amazing people responsible. Public concerns regarding the actions of the administration include but are not limited to: Potential sabotage of a premier academic program due to underlying negative sentiment towards adult education. Possible misleading of the student body, faculty, and public as to the primary reasons for closure. Continued enrollment of new students up until Aug. 2016 which could be a consumer protection issue. Unrealistic timeline (approx. 12 months) for currently enrolled students to complete degree plans. Students forced to enroll in more courses than they are capable of completing without significant reduction in academic performance or work/life/school balance. Capitalization on fees for increased CLEP/DSST testing and portfolio evaluations due to closure timeline. Inadequacy of teach out agreements with comparable programs. Lack of academic support for students rushing to graduate such as the premature termination of writing coaches during a period of record writing exhibit submissions. Potential misleading of accrediting body as it relates to the substantive change granted in 2015 for PEL to offer over 50% of classes through the Tampa campus (seemingly just for show). Potential misleading of accrediting body as it relates to the application for substantive change (program closure) and reasons for discontinuation. For 39 years PEL has served the community by offering a quality liberal arts bachelors degree to adults willing to put in the time, resources, and effort. We implore you to not let the mismanagement and evident negligence of a few adversely impact the many. With the proper integration of the residential program and PEL (as suggested in your strategic plan), there's no reason why Eckerd College cannot continue to be a pioneer and innovator in liberal arts education. We ask the Eckerd College Board of Trustees to take immediate action to halt this decision until an honest, independent audit and assessment of PEL can be conducted. We also ask that the administration be brought under review for breach of fiduciary duties to the College and its stakeholders. Furthermore, we ask the stewards of Eckerd College to embrace the concept of shared governance and begin operating in the spirit of full transparency. To make a tax deductible donation or for more details please go to https://www.savingeckerdpel.com. https://www.facebook.com/SavingEckerdPEL/ Questions or concerns about our efforts to save the program or information from confidential sources can be directed to email@example.com. "If transformative change is to come from within the academy, it won't come from a great dinosaur of a university. The age of mammals originated with an agile shrew-like creature and occurred only after environmental disruption by a massive comet. I would say that if a new age comes to the academy, it too will come after disruption and originate with a Triton-like one."- Chairman, Eckerd College Board of Trustees (2013)
Petition to Ro Khanna, Dianne Feinstein, Virginia Foxx, John Sobrato, Janet Napolitano, Pete Boyle, Rick Williams
Petition for Reduced Tuition
Join the movement on Twitter @changetrain1 This petition is not for the over-entitled who have told me, "It's not my money." This petition is for those of us who give a damn. Do you, like me, have nervous thoughts about whether you can get approved for more loans to finish school? Do you, like me, continuously update and figure out your school payment options with your family? Do you question whether you can take up more minimum-wage work and still have time for school? Did you think about leaving college behind? If so, join The Change Train. Join us as we take action with the Petition for Reduced Tuition. We want college and university administrators to collaborate with their students to reduce tuition costs. We believe that change in this area is not a one-way street; there are actions that both groups can take to reduce tuition and expenses. Below are the individuals that we are petitioning to in order to gain their support in promoting reduced tuition, and to help create collaboration between students and administrations to achieve reduced tuition and expenses. Janet Napolitano (President, University of California) Pete Boyle (VP for Public Affairs, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) Rick Williams (Chief Executive Officer, Sobrato Family Foundation) Ro Khanna (Congressman 17th District) Dianne Feinstein (California Senator) Virginia Foxx (Higher Education subcommittee chair) John Sobrato (The Sobrato Organization President, Santa Clara University alum)
Petition to UCF SGA
Knights Matter, Period.
When signing, please be sure to use your Knights Email so that we can show SGA that all the signees are UCF students. If you have friends that are interested in this cause but attend a different school, please encourage them to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to start a petition at their school! Knights Matter, Period is a coalition of Premedical Students petitioning at UCF for free access to or reduced cost programs for menstrual products such as pads and tampons. This initiative is supported by the American Medical Women's Association Premedical Division as a branch of their Women Matter, Period task force. Tampons and pads are often seen as luxury items in today’s society. For those of us who menstruate, they are necessary. And yet, many people simply do not have access to these items. Some will use a pad or tampon for too long because they can’t afford buying more, causing medical difficulties. Several schools have successfully convinced their administration to offer free tampons and pads for students. A normal biological process should not impede the education of those who cannot afford such products or because there are not adequate supplies on campus. Free the Tampons Foundation has shown that the cost of providing free menstrual products for an entire year is just $4.67 per student. If not providing free products, campuses should at least offer an opt-in program where students can pay a one time fee each year allowing them access to these products with their school ID cards. To add on, there is such a large stigma around menstruation. Tampons and pads are seen as taboo items. Too many times have we all had someone respond in disgust to a wrapped, clean, tampon. These items are also heavily taxed in most states, while “medical necessities” such as dandruff shampoo or Viagra are tax-exempt. Some states are already passing bills to stop taxing these products and other legislation is being introduced in states like Wisconsin that demands menstruation products to be free in public restrooms. Tampons should be treated like toilet paper or free condoms. Let’s show those who menstruate that their needs and comfort matters.
Petition to nope
College Fed Challenge Atlanta
This is a petition to bring the College Fed Challenge to the 6th district. We want to expand the competition to make it more "national" and give students in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi the opportunity to compete in this fun and engaging economics competition, and the chance to head to DC to face off at Nationals.
Petition to the Under Secretary of the Department of Education
Require every high school to have college preparation courses
Many students discover that college is much harder than they anticipated while in high school. Most high schools focus on academic achievement and standardized testing while neglecting to prepare their students with the life skills needed to succeed in college. This has caused many students to assume that college will be similar to the testing and the studying they did for the standardized tests, but leaves them unprepared for the workload and stress of actual college life. As a result, large numbers of freshmen feel overwhelmed, suffering from anxiety and depression. Tragically, many even commit suicide. This is far more than any student (or family) should bear, especially when college should be an exciting time of learning and growth. Although no program can eliminate every problem, many students would be greatly helped if college preparedness classes were offered in high school. These classes would teach students about dorm living, college level workloads and performance expectations, how to manage time and sleep, how to take care of themselves, and what type of resources are available (i.e. tutoring, counseling, health and financial aid). I am a college freshmen and I and many of my friends have faced some of these issues. If high schools required college preparedness classes, students would be better able to adjust to college life and succeed in their academic careers.
Petition to Gregory L. Fenves, Shannon Rose, Flag Petitions Committee
Stop Denying our Flag Petitions at The University of Texas at Austin
We, the students of the University of Texas at Austin, are requesting that flag review committees stop denying valid petitions aimed at attaining flag coursework or to at least confront such petitions with more leniency and flexibility. Such a request is made on the following grounds: 1. Students, especially transfer students, struggle to graduate within a reasonable time frame due to rejected petitions. Additionally, students who participate in certification programs often times do not have as much freedom in selecting courses which are considered for flag criteria, resulting in an excessive course load. 2. Many courses which meet all flag criteria are not listed as such. For instance, some professors may not have the time to file their course as a flag-based. This leads to a very limited selection of courses which in fact, meet the flag requirements. It is fairly competitive to register for flag-based courses. 3. Transfer students are impacted the most due to having taken most core courses elsewhere. Therefore, transfer students struggle to attain the necessary flags in a decent time frame. Courses transferred from another institution are rarely approved!!! 4. Many students are denied in their flag petitioning process without clear explanations, or explanations which are simply untrue. Every student deserves to have their flag petition evaluated in a just manner with a reasonable explanation if their petition is denied. Explanations for flag denial should not go outside the realm of what is listed on the website. 5. The appeals process is lengthy, including an in-person interview and additional paperwork. Most students have busy schedules and hectic workloads which do not leave time for in person meetings and redundant paperwork. 6. Every time a student's flag petition is denied, there is unnecessary spending involved for more classes or even an extra semester/year of tuition. We would like our petitions to have a fair chance at consideration. Please SHARE this petition as much as you can! To those who are unfamiliar with Flags: The University of Texas at Austin requires that all students take courses with flag criteria attached to them. Six flags are required in total, including: Cultural Diversity, Independent Inquiry, Writing, Ethics & Leadership, Global Cultures, and Quantitative Reasoning. For more on what these flags entail, please follow this link: https://ugs.utexas.edu/flags/students/petitions The existence of these flags, according to the Center for the Skills and Experience Flags, are aimed at challenging students to think critically and to practice habits which employers mark as desirable. The University website specifically states that flags will help students to "communicate effectively, engage in ethical decision-making and independent problem-solving, and understand the diverse, data-dense world around us." Please see: https://ugs.utexas.edu/flags/students/about