CSA Board writes letter to university admin re cuts to Women's Studies
Thursday, April 2, 200911 Comments
Maureen Mancuso – Provost, University of Guelph
Donald Bruce – Dean of the College of Arts, University of Guelph
Krista Kermer – President of the College of Arts Student Union,
University of Guelph Student Senate Caucus
FROM: The Central Student Association, University of Guelph
DATE: March 26th, 2009
RE: Proposed Closure of the University of Guelph Women's Studies Program
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On March 11th, the Central Student Association Board of Directors passed a motion directing the executive to write a letter to outlining the student union's concerns and condemnation of the proposal to close the University of Guelph Women's Studies program.
The CSA recognizes that it is integral to the well-being of the academic environment at this university to foster discussion and education about gender and women's issues on campus and that this program provides the necessary academic framework needed to do so. The study and research of gender and women's issues has been historically under-resourced and marginalized in post-secondary institutions. The Women's Studies program here has been no exception. The University of Guelph administration has let the Women's Studies program die, as it has not been properly funded since it was created in the 1970s. The Women's Studies program has not had control over its curriculum for the program and it has not been reviewed or redeveloped in fifteen years. It also does not have core faculty and no program can survive without core faculty.
The outcry to the proposed closure of the program shows us all that Women's Studies extremely is an important and integral part of the university community. The program should have been a priority for this university, but it has been far from that. It is not enough to have a Women's Studies program that depends on forty-two classes offered through other departments. The women's studies program itself has only five core courses. This leaves Women's Studies students dependent on the curriculum and expectations of other programs.
There is a budgetary crises and the entire campus community recognizes this. The crises however does not excuse the administration from their responsibility to ensure that there is a strong academic framework on this campus to support the study and research of women, gender-based, and anti-oppression issues. The proposed closure of the Women's Studies is not just an issue of financial hardship. It demonstrates that Canadian universities are part of a larger society that does not prioritize challenging the continued marginalization of academia that focuses on women, queer people, trans people, and issues of anti-oppression.
The Central Student Association 08/09
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