Ignorance of the law is never an excuse, so maybe being required to know it is the solution.
During Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting, a new piece of legislation was presented to the Senate regarding international students.
The legislation, SSR-17-002, was written by Senator Yihao Hu on behalf of the international student body. It was drafted in response to a 2015 incident when international students were suspended because they did not know laws on campus.
“It is an obligation for ETSU to educate all international students on the dos and don’ts and the consequences of such actions,” the proposed legislation states.
It encourages international students to have a better understanding of laws and cultures in America by requiring them to learn about laws in Tennessee and on the ETSU campus. This would be enforced by also requiring first-time international students to take a quiz on those laws, and a hold would be placed on their student accounts until they have completed the it.
There was no statement of what department would handle the creation of the quiz or what material if any would be given to first-time international students to prepare for it.
In the draft, the legislation recognizes that there are differences between international students’ homes and ETSU, but the requirements under this legislation aim to help the transition to the U.S.
There are over 350 international students from 53 different countries currently attending ETSU, according to the ETSU International Programs website.
The legislation is assigned to SGA’s Student Affairs committee. It will later be voted on by the Senate to include it in the constitution or not.
SGA President Keyana Miller also said she is talking with the ETSU Dean of Libraries, Patricia Van Zandt and Sherrod Library’s Student Advisory Council to create a way for an open textbook network. This would allow students to access textbooks for free.
“Basically, we are trying to get as much as possible the implementation of free textbooks with as many general education courses as we can,” Miller told SGA members during the meeting.
She said legislation for an open textbook network should be drafted in the next few weeks to be presented to the Senate.