SGA fails to pass resolution recommending forgoing standardized testing admission requirements


Selena Favela

Senator Mathew Tucker asks a question during public forum at the SGA session held on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

A resolution that would have requested the university to give the option to future students to forgo all standardized testing admission requirements and substitute them with a thesis project failed during Wednesday’s Student Government Association meeting. 

Matthew Tucker, a graduate teaching assistant, authored the bill. He said that the purpose of the bill was to make university access more open to students applying to the university. 

“Research has shown time and time again that standardized tests fail to predict in any way shape or form future performance of a student in university,” Tucker said. “Furthermore, research has also shown that standardized tests tend to have biases built into them. As a result, by removing the requirements of standardized tests. . . what we’re essentially doing now is expanding who qualifies to be a student at WSU.”

Tucker said that giving students the option of substituting testing requirements with a thesis project opens up different avenues of expressing one’s knowledge. 

“The point of having it optional to replace. . . with a thesis project or a thesis paper is to kind of open up those other avenues of options [and] opportunities,” Tucker said. 

The bill was also directed to people who suffer from test anxiety. Tucker said that acknowledging those individuals and giving them easier alternatives would open up more doors for those students and allow the university to be more welcoming of future students. 

The bill would also help people with low income who can’t afford to take the tests, Tucker said.

One of the problems senators found with the resolution was the confusion over WSU’s current admissions process. 

Senator Crystal Zacarias said that the university did not strictly require standardized testing, opposing what the bill seemed to have said. 

“Currently, we have it so that they either have to have a certain SAT, ACT or they have to have a certain GPA. . .  I think that’s helping our students by having the option of using standardized testing rather than hindering them,” Zacarias said.

While Zacarias believed that the university already accommodated what the bill was asking for when it came to specific testing, she did voice concerns over the Graduate Record Examinations (the GRE), and believed that the university should rethink that specific requirement.

“While there are some parts of this that are asking for things that we already do, there are also new proposals in this that would help our students,” Zacarias said. 

Along with the confusion over the admissions process, SGA Adviser Gabriel Fonseca brought up the point that since the 62nd session of student government is nearing its end, meaning the resolution would expire soon. 

“This resolution would. . . expire next week,” Fonseca said. “The 63rd session wouldn’t have the back to say. . . ‘The student government wants this,’ because it’s a brand new session. . .  I would also echo that sentiment of there’s no way in a week and a half we are going to get a conversation . . . with faculty about this.”

Fonseca encouraged the Student Senate to table the resolution and resubmit the bill when the 63rd session begins.

The resolution failed with only two in favor.