An open letter to UNBC President Daniel Weeks
I am an alumnus of UNBC, having graduated in 2012 with an MA in Gender Studies, and I am very proud to have been accepted into the PhD (psychology) program at UNBC. I am also extremely privileged in that my PhD studies are supported by a UNBC graduate entrance scholarship as well as a very prestigious national scholarship.
While I know that I am not unique in being inconvenienced by this strike, I will share some of the details of my difficulties in the hope that they will convey a sense of the challenges that many, if not most, UNBC students currently face.
My comprehensive exams are scheduled for next month. As you know, these are the most important exams, so far, in my academic career.
Successful completion will allow me to proceed in my program and commence my dissertation research. In order to be completely prepared for those exams I need to be able to consult with my committee members and supervisor. While the strike is on I cannot do that. In addition to the stress of looming exams (something every student knows about), I now have no idea when these exams will take place. And, since my funding is dependent upon my satisfactory progress, I do not know whether my funding will be jeopardized should my exams be delayed. Perhaps you should also know that I am a single parent with three children living at home. These questions, the stress of this uncertainty, weigh on them too.
You said in your letter to students that you would do whatever you can to make sure the semester is saved and completed on time. I don’t know what that means. In my mind this statement would translate to your presence at the bargaining table, working diligently toward a timely and mutually satisfactory resolution.
Yet this does not seem to be the case. Would you please tell students – and their families – exactly what you are doing to save the semester?