Laurier is becoming a diploma factory

Re: “Larger classes take hold at Laurier,” Sept. 23, 2009

With the recent Cord article about Laurier’s larger and larger classes, I think it is high time to ask one very basic and fundamental question concerning us as students: What are we paying for?

The administration would have us believe that we are paying for future lives of “leadership and purpose,” for fighting back against the pressure of the economic downturn, and for responding to the hordes prospective students coming to Laurier every year. Perhaps, but let me be a pessimist for a moment.

Since I first came to Laurier in fall of 2006 there has been three very noticeable trends – the enrolment has gone up, the tuition has increased, and classroom sizes ballooned. Classrooms have been stuffed to their physical limit. In the past year CAS funds have been slashed and with it some of the best professors students on this campus had access to. Full-time faculty that retired or is on leave has not been replaced. Many courses, some required to graduate, are not offered.

Programs have been slashed and burned to the bone and have become less comprehensive, less engaging, and less interdisciplinary. Laurier is becoming a diploma mill.

How’s that for “envisioning Laurier?”

In the meantime the stock market has stabilized and the economy is slowly improving. So we return the question, for what are we paying increasing amounts of money?  From my perspective, whatever it is isn’t being done in the students’ best interests.

–Anatolijs Venovcevs

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