"When we decided to embark on the journey of post-secondary education, we committed to the pursuit of academia. Academics play a key role in all of our lives, without it none of us would be part of this institution. As students, we deserve to receive the best academic experience possible."
Considering the importance of a strong academic advocacy network, we need to ensure we are having meaningful conversations around academic experience with key stakeholders across the Western and HBK community.
Academic policies are difficult to digest; students are often unaware of their academic rights and how to apply them. This process becomes more confusing as students must engage with different review boards if they themselves are accused of breaching academic policies.
Experiences with academic counselling are not the same across the board. There are structural differences that hinder students' success. There needs to be a change in our approach to academic counselling so that students receive the most thorough levels of care. The problems with academic counselling stem from the autonomy of the offices in the different departments, we must challenge this autonomy so that students' can receive equitable treatment.
Self Reported Absences (SRAs) are important mechanisms to preserve students’ academic wellbeing. They ensure that students are able to get accommodation when they need it, redistributing the power in the academic experience by allowing students to take control of their own academic experience. They were available on a trial basis, which will expire this year, the USC and the WSS are committed to keeping them.
COVID has taught us all about the ability for the institution to engage with accessible practices in the learning environment. The VPUA has a seat at SCAPA which would be able to regulate how on the academic level the school can commit to accessibility.
Considering the passing of the Experiential Learning Policy Paper, we as an institution are committed to enacting change based on the PCRs as passed by The USC. I am committed to the internal creation of work-integrated learning opportunities across campus, with a specific focus on paid opportunities.
In our land acknowledgments, we as an institution committed to decolonization through our academic practices as an institution.