While you were out……. four months of news
Congress hits up Laurier
From May 26 to June 2 academics, presenters, lecturers and graduate students flooded the campuses of WLU and the UW for Congress 2012. The conference, which saw 7,000 delegates, included various lectures, discussions and workshops. This year’s theme was “crossroad scholarship for an uncertain world”. The discussions that stemmed from this surrounded how the social sciences and humanities can move forward in conjunction with fields such as science, business and technology.
Some of the speakers included David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada, who spoke about collaborating knowledge and education with technology and science to further scholarship for students. Other prominent presenters included literary icon Margaret Atwood, Dan Gardner, Don Tapscott, Diana Carney and Chris Hedges.
Revamped meal plans
Incoming and returning WLU students will be greeted by a major change to the dining hall, which has undergone renovations to accomodate a new meal plan system for first-year students. Rather than the declining balance system, students will be using a board meal plan, which will function on an all-you-can-eat basis. It will aim to ensure students can eat what they want by providing them with more diverse food options.
After conducting research at other institutions, the Students’ Union found that this model functions the best, and will be an improvement to Laurier’s food services.
As for senior students, staff and faculty, the dining hall will function similarly to a buffet. There will be a predetermined price for their food at which point they can fill their plates.
Laurier moves to a flat-rate copyright fee system
After a new licensing agreement between the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and Access Copyright, students across Ontario, including those at Wilfrid Laurier University, are paying more for copyright fees. On June 21 the university approved a motion to move forward in signing the new agreement.
Students are no longer paying the $3.37 full-time equivalent (FTE) fee or the $0.10 a page fee for copyrighted materials. Effective July 1, students have been paying a $26 FTE fee that is paid up front. The original model had students paying between $15 and $18 in copyright fees.
The agreement between AUCC and Access Copyright has received criticism from universities and students across Canada, with many choosing to opt-out. WLU, however, felt it wasn’t in a position to go alone in copyright plans or look for a new publisher.
LORIS frustrates students
This June, social media feeds were once again flooded with student complaints regarding LORIS. Students being locked out of LORIS was found to be a capacity issue, which is a direct result of the network design, and not LORIS itself. As a result, WLU has been looking for new ways for students to successfully register for courses. A survey was conducted over the summer to get feedback from students as to what improvements they would like to see. WLU’s academic services are hoping to see an upgrade occur over the next school year so next summer students will be able to successfully register for classes without experiencing any major kinks.
The anthropology department at WLU will be seeing some major cuts this upcoming year. Earlier this summer, a motion was passed at a Faculty of Arts meeting to change the faculty to a department. These changes have resulted from issues that had risen between professors in the department. After an ill-fated attempt to settle, three of the five professors formally requested transfers to different departments.
The Faculty of Arts will continue to do everything in its power to ensure current Anthropology students are able to graduate with all their required classes. In the future, however, fewer classes will be offered, and students may have fewer opportunities to take Anthropology classes.
WLUFA sends its support to Quebec student protests
As a result of the student demonstrations in Quebec earlier this summer, the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) decided to donate $10,000 to the striking students. The money, they stated, was sent in order to help the students with any legal fees they may have encountered due to the passing of Bill 78.
While WLUFA chose to support students in Quebec, they also commented that it was interesting that students in Ontario decided not to fight rising tuition prices in their own province, and instead continue to pay the rising fees.
– Compiled by Marissa Evans and Elizabeth DiCesare.