Administration clarifies confusion over enrichment credit requirements: Some students express frustration

Gamaliel Reyes scans a QR code during the week of prayer. In previous years, credits were given via tickets, but due to COVID-19 and a
transfer to livestreaming, credits are now done by a QR code at the beginning and end of credit-worthy events. Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
(Photo by: Xander Ordinola)
Gamaliel Reyes scans a QR code during the week of prayer. In previous years, credits were given via tickets, but due to COVID-19 and a transfer to livestreaming, credits are now done by a QR code at the beginning and end of credit-worthy events. Wednesday, September 22, 2021. (Photo by: Xander Ordinola)

The Fall 2021 semester at Southern Adventist University began with confusion regarding enrichment and cultural credits. 

Due to a contradiction between the Residence Life page and the page on Southern’s website, many students have been confused about the amount of credits they need to earn during a semester. However, this issue was finally addressed and fixed, as noted in an email to students sent on September 21 by Teri Reutebuch, administrative assistant for Student Development.

The email explained that while Southern’s website and a previous email from August 23 contained the correct information concerning credits, the Residence Life page was incorrect, as it had not been updated since the Winter 2021 semester. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, credits were reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions, as the university did not want students to feel pressured to attend events during a pandemic.  

In the September 21 email, Reutebuch wrote, “… The system has been updated, and your residence life and the requirements listed on the website should be in sync. If you are seeing that this is not the case, please let us know immediately and we will look into it.”

Some students expressed that they think it is unfair of the university to require the full amount of credits when the error remained unfixed for so long. 

“I don’t think it is fair,” junior mass communication major Victoria Mills said. “I think they need to eliminate credits for one more semester until they can get it totally figured out, especially since they charge at the end if someone hasn’t gotten all they should.

“The email sent at the beginning of the year said that credits would be back to normal without any numbers.” She continued. “People starting this year and last year didn’t know what ‘normal’ meant, so when they ‘fixed’ it, the number was [much] more than most people were expecting.”

In an email sent to the Accent, Kari Shultz, director of student life and activities, said Reutebuch’s August 23 email included a link to where students could find information about enrichment credit requirements. She said credit numbers also were published in the August 27-29 Weekender during the first week of school with a graph showing what was required.

Junior chemistry major Tori Avila said she was unhappy with the situation. 

“We are now a third of the way through the semester,” she stated. “So, for it to be incorrect for so long, and then to expect students to obtain more than was originally slated… [it] does not sit well.” 

In a later email to the Accent, Reutebuch said Student Development is aware that the glitch in the system has caused some “angst,” and the department apologizes for the inconvenience. She said students should talk to Student Development if they have any concerns.

Reutebuch added that there are approximately 11 weeks left in which credits can be earned, which means over 140 credits are still available, excluding those available at School of Music programs.

In her email, Shultz stated that there are over 13 credits offered per week, not including LifeGroup meetings. She also stated that credit opportunities are listed in the Weekender, which she sends to the student body every week. 

At the end of the September 21 email, Reutebuch listed the numerous ways by which students may earn credits. These include hall worships, dorm worships, convocations, Vespers, Evensong concerts and LifeGroups. 

Students who would like to find out more about credits may visit the following website: https://www.southern.edu/administration/student-development/convocation.html

Amanda Blake and Megan Yoshioka also contributed to this report.

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