As a UFV honours alumni and returning student, I must say that I am deeply concerned about the issue of the Writing Centre (WC) closure. I was particularly appalled by Mr. Brown’s op-ed that informed us that the senior administration at UFV makes more money a year than the premier of BC This is deeply unsettling in light of the cuts we’ve seen these past years. Yes, we must hold the BC government, who has cut $50 million in funding to our schools, accountable, but at the same time it is also our duty to hold our own university government accountable for the way they respond to such cuts. Cutting essential student services and none of the administrative fat is not a way to move forward.
However, UFV continues to insist that this change has nothing to do with budget constraints. In this case, it raises the question why we would substitute writing professionals for peer tutors. Students do not go to university to be instructed by other students; we are paying to have a professional level of instruction. Peer-tutoring should be an addition to this model, not the model itself. It’s even worse when one considers the difficulties of navigating proper style guidelines, such as MLA or APA. Writing a paper requires much more than a little clarity and panache. Each field has its own specific requirements that the writing instructors can help us navigate. Expecting an undergraduate student acting as a peer-tutor to have this level of knowledge is absurd.
Therefore, though the UFV administration is trying to make it seem otherwise, the Academic Success Centre will in no way offer the same quality of services we are used to. Streamlining various academic services into one centre is not a bad idea in itself — it’s the service changes that have UFV students all riled up (#SaveUFV).
The palpable contempt for faculty and students shown by the administration is another issue, as is their attempt to mislead students into believing that there has been no fundamental change in services. It’s a funny thing about education … we’re not stupid. We’d thank certain administrators to remember that.
Student Rep. for the College
of Arts Council