A new IGNITE club is set to formally launch on Friday with the aim of tackling policy issues on campus.
Hannah Derue, president of the newly created Academic Reform Group, agreed to be exclusively interviewed by the Post.
What is the Academic Reform Group?The Academic Reform Group (ARG) aims to tackle policy issues that affect University of Guelph-Humber and Humber North Campus students, whether at the administrative level, or based on provincial or federal policy that may apply to students on campus.
We advocate for the inclusion of all students, and their varied policy related concerns, regardless of disability, age, religion, gender, or political views.
Our top priority is increasing transparency between students on campus, administration, and policy makers, through socratic means (the use of research and diplomacy to advocate for student concerns).
We want to provide an environment for student activists who want a space for pragmatic discourse of policy concerns that apply to them.
What is the ARG’s goal?
Due to the nature of the Academic Reform Group, it is likely that our objectives will shift over the years.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, the ARG has a few main goals in mind, which are to be proposed at our first official meeting this week. For now, ARG is looking to ratify a constitution and to solidify a plan for the 2018-2019 term.
Why did you create the ARG?
Through my role at Psych Society as VP of Events (Activities), I encountered many students who shared similar concerns related to academic policy at the University of Guelph-Humber.
Students were being referred to GHWorks for placement opportunities, and for many weeks, there were none posted.
Furthermore, over the strike period, many students were frustrated by releases from the University of Guelph-Humber, stating that a contingency plan was in place.
When students would push for answers about the contingency plan to administration or student leaders on campus, they were refused an answer, and often ignored.
The ARG is a student collective that aims to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork, in an effort to make the system work better for the students who pay for it.
We want transparency, and believe that all students have the right to know about why policies that affect them are in place, and what they can do to improve them.
What do you hope that students will get out of the ARG?I hope that students will find a space where they can engage in open discourse about policy at the provincial, federal, and local (campus) level.
I believe that this group will foster a sense of community, allowing for students to form a collective that advocates for students who feel overlooked by policy makers and administrators.
I hope that students will gain a sense of self-efficacy, knowing that they can take their policy related issues to a group of like-minded students in similar situations; who are open to proposing solutions.
How does the ARG run?
The ARG is in the process of finalizing its constitution and democratic processes. There is more to come within the next week.
Derue told the Post that should anyone have any inquires about the role of the Academic Reform Group, they should send an email to the Academic Reform Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The administration and University of Guelph-Humber senators have yet to reply for a request to comment on this story.
Image of University of Guelph-Humber from previous files.