Statement – SU calling for further add/drop extension, clarity on winter semester

January 21, 2022  |   Found in News

The Students’ Union (SU) is calling for the university to extend the add/drop deadline until a decision is made on the remaining six weeks of the winter semester.

 

The SU has received an incredible amount of student feedback. By and large students want clarity for the remaining weeks of the semester and final exams.

 

Many students have also expressed preferences when it comes to whether the semester should remain online or return to in-person learning. This is not a decision the SU can make.

 

In addition, students have varying perspectives often based on the faculty in which they are enrolled. For example, students in the Arts and Engineering faculties may prefer to remain online. This is less practical for students in Kinesiology and Medicine who require interactive portions to many of the classes they are in currently.

 

The university has made it clear that it cannot offer the same course both online and in-person. Most classrooms are not equipped to do so. The university will need to make a consistent and campus wide decision. This decision needs to be made soon and before the add/drop deadline.

 

No matter the decision, there will be consequences for students. The SU will advocate to minimize these as much as possible.

 

Should the university extend online learning to the end of the winter semester, it must also:

 

  1. Cancel the UPass and refund students. The university should provide discounted transit tickets to students as it did in previous online semesters.
  2. Refund or not charge students for the campus recreation and athletics fees.
  3. Allow students in residence to terminate their leases without penalty.
  4. Provide an expanded relocation grant to all students who had in-person courses moved online and increase the amount of the benefit to cover the actual costs students are facing.

 

Should the university return to in-person learning for the remainder of the winter semester, it must also:

 

  1. Pro-rate the campus recreation and athletics fees, not charging students for the online portion of the semester.
  2. Provide an expanded relocation grant to all students who had courses moved online who must now incur travel and accommodation expenses to return to Calgary for six weeks plus exams.
  3. Implement short-term lease agreements for students who want to live in residence for the remainder of the semester.
  4. Honour the original course delivery method and set consistent, campus wide, and public criteria should instructors wish to keep courses online.

 

The university cannot make its decision in isolation. It must provide adequate notice to students and support them no matter the path forward. The SU will advocate for students no matter the university’s decision.