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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Syllabus repository approved

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Adding syllabi to the repository is optional for professors.

A motion to establish a syllabus repository was passed at the faculty meeting on Tuesday months after the repository was proposed as an alternative to public course evaluation data, which the faculty voted to eliminate last year. The syllabus repository proposal was unanimously endorsed by Student Government last Thursday.

Organized by the faculty Student Affairs Committee, the syllabus repository will allow professors to post their syllabi and share required texts, course subjects and assignment schedules. Professors will not be required to publicize syllabi on this database.

“We explored probably 50 different ideas that came up by the Teaching & Learning Committee last year, by our student members this year, by deans and other stakeholders,” said Sue Wenze, an associate psychology professor and member of the committee. “This, while not a perfect system … came out to be probably the best.”

The motion passed by a vote of 75 to 42, according to the clerk of the faculty, Joshua Smith.

“We’re hoping that this will be a centralized way that students can get some additional information about their courses,” Wenze continued.

Wenze was the chair of the task force that organized the syllabus repository. Members of the task force included Wenze, associate biology professor Megan Rothenberger, assistant engineering professor Christa Kelleher and assistant mathematics professor Allison Lewis, in addition to students Charles Mann ’25, Tyler Osipower ’24 and Alex Thurtle ’24, who serve as student delegates on the committee. 

Gabrielle Kelenyi, an English instructor, said the system would be a positive addition to the course registration process.

“I think that it provides students with good information to make informed decisions about the classes that they take and the [classes] that are going to be the best for the way they learn and the material they want to learn,” Keleyni said.

Student Government approved the measure without discussion, according to Elle Lansing ’26, the organization’s communications officer. Student Government had previously passed a resolution calling for the preservation of course evaluations and, after the faculty committee presented at a previous Student Government meeting, voiced concerns about the syllabus policy being opt-in.

“It’s not like we can force them to release” syllabi, Lansing said of professors, noting that syllabi are the intellectual property of professors.

“I would have enjoyed getting the syllabus beforehand,” Zoë Gelber ’24 said of her classes. “I think that would just make more sense for [students] to know what’s going on before course registration.”

Wenze said that the syllabus repository will also positively impact advisors who are unaware of some courses offered in different departments.

“I know about the courses in my department, but students often ask me, ‘What’s this English course about?’ and I have no idea,” Wenze said.

Some professors voted against the syllabus repository in an effort to not publicize their otherwise private syllabi, according to Wenze.

“I completely understand how some faculty who teach sensitive topics might not like the idea of having their syllabi out there in a more public forum,” she said.

Some students, such as Gelber and Sofia Aguayo ’26, still prefer course evaluation access compared to a syllabus repository.

“I think that student evaluations are still super important because I want to know what the experience is from another student’s perspective,” Aguayo said.

“I think that student evaluations are pretty helpful because you don’t know what professors’ personalities are like just on a sheet of paper,” Gelber said. “You need student accounts to make that judgment.”

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Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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