This week, many of your courses which have instructors who are on strike will be meeting as called by the department to discuss a vote to change the syllabus. Members of the ASSU Executive tonight witnessed a department chair make statements that are not correct in regards to the syllabus.
Over the weekend, you would have received an e-mail from Dean David Cameron in regards to the Faculty of Arts and Science opening up the ability to declare CR/NCR (Credit/No Credit) or drop the course after you have received your marks. The Faculty website says:
For all courses offered this term (both S and Y courses), and even in cases where numeric grades will be available, students can elect Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) or choose to cancel (drop) a course without academic penalty. The CR/NCR will not count towards students’ 2.0 FCE maximum. The deadlines for both these options have been extended until after students have seen their final grades. Precise dates will be posted on the Arts & Science website shortly. Please continue to check this website regularly for updated information.
This applies to all courses. Not just courses on strike, not just courses affected – all courses. If your department chair in the meeting claims that while you have an option, if you vote to reject the syllabus – you may not be able to access the aforementioned options of declaring CR/NCR or dropping the course, please bare in mind that this is not true.
You can vote anyway you like for the syllabus – but keep in mind that the syllabus votes only governs changes to the marking scheme (how things are weighted, when they are due, etc.). Declaring credit/no credit, dropping a course, or anything else – are not governed by the syllabus. While ASSU does not agree with the academic continuity measures the Faculty has chosen, we will defend your rights to use it.
We have also heard of courses choosing to pass syllabi changes with caveats – “we will not have the exam if the TAs are still on strike by this date.“. This is not fair to our students, nor do we believe this is allowed. Please report all of these instances to ASSU.
Keep in mind, there is no active policy allowing departments to step into your course and administer it. This includes forcing you to hand in assignments directly to them, or conducting syllabus votes. If you choose to challenge the department in this regard (ask them for the specific policy that allows them to do this) – you will have the support of the union.
ASSU will be meeting with the Faculty shortly – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and complaints.