Early Graduation

 Graduating Early or Abandoning Ship?


Grace is a second-year senator on her student government, and a junior at the university. She absolutely loves student government, and has become very involved in the organization. She has even adopted duties and volunteering for tasks that fall outside her position description. She has a lot of passion for the job and always moves her projects forward efficiently, collaborating well with other groups on campus. Senior members of student government have told Grace that she is a valuable part of the organization, and have encouraged her to run again the next year.

With elections quickly approaching, she is considering running as a senior class senator. Grace is almost done with her major though, and anticipates graduating a quarter early. All members of student government must be active students, and graduation terminates membership in the organization. If she wins the race for senator, she will only be able to participate for two quarters of her year-long commitment, leaving her seat empty in the spring. Transition to the newly elected student government occurs halfway through the spring quarter, so she would really only miss 5 or 6 weeks, but a missing senator impacts committee work and voting ratios, among many other things. Grace knows that other members of student government would have to pick up some of her slack in the spring, and if they knew of her plans to graduate early, they would encourage her to find another way to participate. Grace loves senate though, and has several initiatives she knows she can achieve to improve the student body’s experience. She also knows she would have to break the yearlong commitment she would make to the organization.

What would you do in Grace’s position? How would you way the positive impact Grace could make with the principle of commitment to the organization? Is Grace being dishonest by failing to disclose her plans to graduate early? How does your student organization work with members who graduate early?

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