Not Making the Grade

School, I am pissed at you.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re on a sinking ship. The quality of Student Publications has been steadily declining, the clubs and committees are dying off, and we still don’t have a library or cafeteria despite paying fees for those. So your new changes due to “budget cuts” were the equivalent of blowing a hole in the side of said ship, which was already taking on water at a frankly terrifying rate.

I mean, I get it. You’re scared, because your partnership with that other school is coming to an end, and you’re pretty sure that won’t mean anything good for your bottom line. But this? This was not the answer.

This was a giant “fuck you” to your students. Who, in case you’ve forgotten, are the ones supplying a large chunk of your budget. Do you really think screwing over your students and employees is the way to save this institution? Because screwing us is exactly what you’ve done.

Contract staff teach 45% of our classes. And now you’re getting rid of a significant number of them. Who, exactly, do you plan to have teach? Because tenured professors aren’t less expensive than contract staff — rather the opposite, in fact. Which means that you’re not going to create more secure/tenured positions, just your expectations of current staff. Good luck keeping professors, and kiss any chance of attracting new staff goodbye. No one will trust you as an employer after this, and they’d be right not to.

But it’s not just instructors you’ve axed, oh no! You’ve also decided that 22 employees in support positions are expendable. Included in those 22 were the Learning Strategist and Consultant in the Disability Office, as well as one of the two counsellors that serve this entire campus. You know what that says?

It says that you don’t give a shit about students’ success. It says that you really couldn’t care less about whether or not mentally ill, learning-impaired, or physically disabled students have the support they need to graduate. It makes your little “Scrawl on the Wall” for mental health initiative nothing but hypocrisy. You can’t claim to care about mental health on campus and then fire half of your counsellors, and still expect anyone to believe that you actually care.

I mean, clearly you care about your image. It’s why you phrased your little announcement in terms of sustainability. It’s why you haven’t told anyone affected by these changes about them. It’s why students get to show up to appointments with their support staff, only to be told that said staff member isn’t here today — and is, in fact, no longer with us. It’s why you only tell students about the absence of their support staff after the firing has taken place. Because heaven fucking forbid that we raise a fuss about it, or try to get petitions going, or hell, get a chance to make sure that we’re going to be okay without those supports that you’re pulling out from under us.

I am appalled by the callousness you’ve shown. You don’t care about our professors, or their families, or what it means that they have to seek employment elsewhere with minimal notice. And students’ health and sanity is clearly nowhere near as important to you as your bottom line. Your utter lack of scruples in making this decision is nothing short of sickening.

Because here’s the fucking kicker: this was not inevitable. This did not need to happen. The cost of your deficit should not be paid with our sanity or the quality of our education — because you sure as hell aren’t going to be lowering tuition fees anytime soon, are you? If your budget was really in as much trouble as you say, then what was with buying that new building downtown? Are you seriously trying to tell me that you can get rid of support staff and teachers, but you can somehow afford to buy building the size of a city block?

I’m utterly disgusted. And really, really glad that I’m as close to graduating as I am. Because I’m not interested in going down with this ship — not when it didn’t need to sink in the first place.


Just in case it wasn’t clear: I am furious. And I plan on doing something about this. What, I don’t know quite yet. But ^that^ was where I had to start, because otherwise I would have blown something up, burned something down, or done something else equally as destructive. And while I do plan on raising hell, it needs to be productive hell. If I can’t get anything changed, then at the very least I need to make sure that I am heard.
I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery (as evidenced by the above), please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

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