University transparency seems unavailable for students

The long-awaited business building that is beautifully staring Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus in the face will not be ready in time to let students study there in January 2016 as promised. Many business students recently checked their schedules to notice the previously arranged location of their lectures, which were said to be at Lazaridis Hall, was switched to other classrooms on campus.

We understand delays occur with construction — this isn’t the first set back — but couldn’t some warning be given? Students received a general newsletter to their emails on November 9 with the heading, “Changes to class locations” buried among the rest. This linked to a news release on legacy.wlu.ca that said, “with the recent announcement in the delayed opening …” yet no further press release can be found.

This is not the first time Laurier has neglected to disclose information, keeping students out of the loop.

A recent example can be the reminder of tuition payments. Many students recently received an invoice that tuition for next term is due in less than a month. This is before many students will be getting OSAP in January and before they even know the expenses they will have to pay for next semester’s textbooks. Students have been financially kept in the dark and updated at the last moment possible.

This level of miscommunication is breaking down the transparency of our university.

For around a month, The Cord has been trying to interview university representatives regarding the delayed construction of the new business building. After multiple requests, representatives have either declined or not answered emails and phone calls. It seems they are refusing to disclose developments and they are keeping every one unaware of campus implications.

It seems the only exception where university officials maintain strong communication is in times of tragedy. The recent lockdown incident and cyber threat resulted in detailed press conferences, interviews and constant disclosure to ensure the safety of students and reassurance to guardians. This was great.

However we cannot solely rely on the communication of our school when lives are potentially in danger. Communication, transparency and accessibility should constantly be practiced to ensure students feel knowledgeable about the everyday happenings.

Overall, there is a requirement of the university’s communication that cannot be ignored. Whether the issue is big or small, students deserve to know what’s happening.

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