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We, the undersigned students, alumni, faculty and community members, are extremely concerned about the imminent elimination of the Women's Studies programme at the University of Guelph. Having been informed by the administration that there were no alternatives, the BA Programmes Committee recently voted to end this important programme. We urge Dr Neil MacLusky and the Board of Undergraduate Studies (BUGS) to overturn the decision made by the BA Programs Committee.
The university has cited the economic crisis and its strained budget as logic for terminating the programme. Yet, although all programmes with fewer than forty majors have been recommended for elimination, at this point, Women's Studies is the only major that is on the chopping block. The administration's logic is insupportable considering that cutting the already under-funded Women's Studies programme will save the university less than 0.17% of their predicted $46 million shortfall.
Women's studies programmes offer invaluable contributions to academia and society at large. They are essential in their ability to cultivate theoretical-thinking and advance marginalised discourses. Not only do they critique and challenge relationships between women and men, but they are also among the only courses that genuinely address other progressive issues in critical feminist scholarship, queer theory, and anti-oppression, such as racism, classism, ableism, and heterosexism.
It is especially discouraging to see this turn of events at a time when, with much thanks to the Miss G_ Project, women's studies courses are fighting their way into Ontario's high school curriculum. So at a time when enrollment into Women's Studies programs is poised to rise significantly, Guelph is cutting the program.
If the University of Guelph drops the Women's Studies program, it will become one of only a very few English-speaking universities in Canada not to have a Women's or Gender Studies programme. This is shameful.
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Sponsored by a collection of unrelenting students, alumni, faculty, activists, and community members.
Please spread this petition widely and quickly. The BUGS will meet before the end of the month to make a final decision.
Interesting statistic: University of Guelph President, Alastair Summerlee saw his salary increase by 112 % in 2008 to a whopping $446,000 annually. Something to write about
Note: Anonymous signatures are anonymous on internet list but revealed in official petition delivered to BUGS.
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http://www.themissgproject.org/ http://www.facebook.com/group.phpgid=70100588520 http://arts.uoguelph.ca/wstudies/
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