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Lakehead Responds Well to Student Demands

Andrew Ault

By Andrew Ault

It was only one week ago when Lakehead University decided to cut several courses for students at the Orillia campus, causing many students frustration and chaos, especially those which are entering in first-year. However, after student activism in the media, LUSU consultations and persuasive emails sent to faculty; Lakehead University has found a solution to several of its programming dilemmas that will still satisfy the budget, and more importantly the students.

On the popular Facebook page for the classes of 2017 and 2018, students expressed their outrage with a flavour of negativity for the school, its administrators, and even proposed a strike! However, because of a handful of positive individuals; students were reassured that this small, unconventional institution is one that produces an exceptional education, and transformed students!

I am a student at this institution that was effected by these cuts, particularly cutting the “Canadian Government” second-year Political Science course. Once I heard about this cut, I immediately researched this issue in depth by examining its budget, costs of additional faculty, and opportunity cost as an institution by not offering such course. Then I took action by sending an email to administration where I expressed my understanding of the cuts to the budget while also voiced my concern of the institution not offering this important course, and proposed a solution of course delivery through telecast or online. Within eight hours of submitting this, a department chair responded to my email (on the weekend) stating that he understands and agrees with my concern, and is looking into viable solutions to this problem. Yesterday, it was made available on the Orillia campus by offering it via conference with the Thunder Bay campus.

This solution makes use of the school’s amazingly high-tech large lecture hall, thus not requiring additional faculty; and ensures to many students attending the small Orillia university, that their voice is heard on campus. Communication between students and administration is important and crucial to retention and new enrollment rates, in addition to student satisfaction. Rather it be administration understanding and recognizing a student’s concern and agreeing with it, or expressing reasons why they may have a different viewpoint; its students are sure to feel that they are important to the institution. With that being said, I feel it is important that all students learn about the issues that affect them on campus, voice their concerns, propose a solution and contact the appropriate administrator. It can not simply be done by one student, one activism or one organization entirely; but rather by a collection of all three!

As per Lakehead University, I wish to express many thanks as a student, and wish to express my opinion that not only does this reconsideration give peace of mind to returning students, but also to those whose journey will begin in two weeks.

Andrew Ault,
Student at Lakehead Univesity Orillia

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