APRIL 15, 2015 — The Capilano Faculty Association has come out in opposition to the concept of optional exams, citing concerns surrounding academic integrity. The idea came up after an online petition requesting that exams for the spring 2015 semester be optional gained over 1,700 signatures.
“Our courses are developed through an exacting process and scrutinized for suitable transferability,” the CFA stated in an update to the frequently asked questions document on their website. “We do not condone any notion of ‘optional’ exams, as we believe it could undermine both the value of our courses, and their transferability, currently identified through the province-wide BCCAT system.”
In an update to their own strike update page, the university has encouraged students to contact their instructor directly with any questions about their final exams and assignments.
“The decision to make final exams optional or mandatory is at the discretion of your instructor,” reads the update on the Capilano University faculty strike update page. “While the university sets the exam schedule, faculty is responsible for administering the exams and making decisions regarding the format, content and grade weight.”
The university has released a document detailing academic appeals process, which is available for download here. The academic grade appeal process is managed through the office of student affairs. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Capilano Students’ Union encourages students with scheduling questions to contact the registrar’s office by email at email@example.com or by phoning or 604.984.4900. Students may also contact their instructors to ask about alternate arrangements.
The CSU also encourages students to reach out to counselling services if they are experiences heightened feelings of stress and anxiety, keeping in mind that mental and physical wellbeing is of paramount importance.
APRIL 14, 2015 — As many of you are aware, the last few weeks have been incredibly stressful and hard on students’ lives and studies. We’ve heard all of your concerns and have spoken with the university and faculty on how to reschedule or defer exams and assignments. Here are some ways that students experiencing undue stress and hardship can get extensions on exams and/or projects.
- If you are feeling stress or anxiety, book a meeting with the counselling office as soon as possible so that they can address your stress/anxiety and can help guide you through it. Remember that mental and physical wellbeing always comes first.
- Email your instructors explaining your stress, conflicts, or barriers to success arising from the last few weeks and ask them for reasonable extensions on assignments.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org so that the registrar’s office at the university is aware of your situation and can document you reaching out to faculty and attempt to find another exam time that fits.
- Email Peter Hedley, the manager of student affairs, at email@example.com to discuss grade appeals and other ways to navigate your situation.
Remember to stay healthy everyone! Let us know what else we can do to help.
The CSU began advocating for optional exams following a petition the surfaced shortly after the strike began. We encourage students to add their names to the petition to provide the opportunity for optional exams as we continue to meet with university administration and faculty.
April 13, 2015 – North Vancouver – The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has continued to work hard over the weekend in order to better understand the positions of the University Administration (UA) and the Capilano Faculty Association (CFA), to ensure that the parties understand the impact that the ongoing labour dispute has on our members (i.e., the students of Capilano University), and to take whatever steps we can to minimize the impact of this situation of their academic careers.
The CSU invited both the UA and the CFA to an open forum on Monday, where students would be able to directly speak to representatives from both parties, and to ask questions, make comments, and express concerns. Unfortunately, the UA declined to participate, citing concerns about whether discussion about negotiations in an open forum could constitute an unfair labour practice. The CFA has not responded to the CSU’s invitation to attend the open forum.
The CSU has asked that student observers be allowed to attend the next mediation session between the UA and the CFA, to ensure that the discussions taking place, and the process, respect the interests and concerns of students.
The CSU will send an official statement to both the UA and the CFA, tonight, demanding that both parties come back to the table and resume collective bargaining immediately. The CSU requires both parties to resume discussions at once, and to conclude an agreement by Wednesday.
Final Exam Timeline
The CSU has expressed our members’ concerns to both the UA and the CFA, with respect to the altered schedule for final exams. We have already heard from a number of members who will face unreasonable hardship due to these last-minute changes. The CSU strongly opposes any further extension or alteration of the final exam schedule, due to the impact on our members, and an official statement to both the UA and the CFA will be issued this evening.
In response to a petition signed by over a thousand of our members, the CSU has also initiated discussions tonight with the UA and the CFA on whether final exams can be made optional for those students who are being impacted by the altered final exam schedule. We are preparing to make our case to senate (the highest academic decision-making body at the university), which currently has a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 21.
The CSU understands that many of our members may take issue with grades assigned at the end of this term, due to consequences of the strike – the inability to attend office hours, core course content not being delivered in advance of exams, or disrupted study schedules.
The CSU encourages any members who feel that they have been unfairly graded to get in touch with our advocacy service at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CSU can provide information about the university’s appeal policies and procedures, and help to ensure that you are treated fairly.
Navigating the Picket Line
The BC Labour Relations Board has issued an essential services order, setting out the reasons for which persons can come onto the campus without being considered to have “crossed the picket line.” Because this is an order of the Labour Relations Board, prompted by a university application for essential services, none of the parties have the authority to grant waivers.
Students should feel free to speak to faculty members and their supporters who are at the picket lines about their questions, comments, concerns and support. However, be aware that discussions at the picket line can become heated; the CSU reminds everyone to focus the conversation on facts and arguments, and not on the parties themselves.
Respect for the picket line, and decisions to cross the picket line, are a question of conscience for every member. If you do decide to cross the picket line, please be respectful of picketers and, if stopped or questioned, advise picketers that you are exercising your right to cross.
The CSU encourages members to continue to send questions, comments, or concerns via email message to email@example.com, or to message us through the CSU’s Facebook or Twitter accounts. We also encourage members to send us correspondence that they would like forwarded to the UA, the CFA, and other interested parties on campus.
Role of Government
We have had a number of members asking about the role of government in the ongoing collective bargaining process between the UA and the CFA. The board of governors has a duty to comply with the annual government letter of expectations issued by the minister of advanced education. The university must also ensure that any agreement reached between the UA and the CFA is acceptable to both the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (a public sector employers’ association consisting of special-purpose teaching university, college, and institute presidents, and government representatives), and the Public Sector Employers’ Council (consisting of government ministers, and representatives of each of the public sectors).
APRIL 7, 2015 —
An open letter to the Capilano Faculty Association, Capilano University administration, and the Capilano Students’ Union from members of the faculty of business administrationadmin 2017-02-01T11:54:48+00:00
CSU PRESS RELEASE: CSU board votes to encourage CapU and CFA to reach fair settlement to avoid job actionadmin 2017-02-01T11:54:55+00:00
March 27, 2015 – North Vancouver – The elected board of directors of the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU), at a board meeting on March 25, voted to encourage a swift resolution to the impending labour dispute between the Capilano Faculty Association (CFA) and Capilano University. The CSU’s position does not support either party over the other, but encourages a fair settlement as soon as possible to avoid disruptions to students’ classes and exams.
Throughout the week of March 9, the CFA (the union representing faculty members at CapU) conducted a strike vote, which garnered over 80% support in favour of job action if the ongoing negotiations hit an impasse. If a strike is implemented, that could mean a range of consequences for CapU students – from faculty members’ withdrawal of voluntary services; to partial or rotating strikes; to a full-scale strike, shutting down classes and deferring exams. The CSU hopes that the parties resolve their differences before that happens.
“The best outcome for students is for a fair settlement to be reached before any job action is taken,” says Sacha Fabry, the CSU’s vice-president of university relations and services. He continues to say, “It’s important to remember that the root cause of the current dispute is inadequate funding for post-secondary education by government.”
The CSU is committed to acting as a hub of information for all CapU students as the situation unfolds. Students are encouraged to keep themselves informed by checking the CSU website for updates at csu.bc.ca, to look for membership bulletins online and around campus, and to keep themselves connected and involved in the conversation through the CSU’s social media.