Promoting Osgoode Student Rights During the Labour Disruption
We need your help.
Whether you’re attending class or not, every one of us has been impacted by the strike. But the Senate Policy does not serve the needs and rights of ALL students. We need to come together to make sure that all Osgoode students are protected from the effects of the strike. Faculty Council is meeting on Friday morning to decide on these issues, and we are sending Student Caucus and Osgoode Strike Support Committee (OSSC) representatives to advocate for all of us.
It is the belief of Student Caucus and the OSSC that students must act now by signing this letter to support each other in order to access and actualize these crucial rights. We urge you to sign on to this letter, as individuals and as student organizations, in order to ensure protections for ALL students.
To Faculty Council members,
RE: Protections for Osgoode Students During the Ongoing Labour Disruption
We, the undersigned, have serious concerns regarding the uncertainty surrounding the remediation framework for Osgoode Hall Law School circulated to students by Associate Dean Berger on March 14, 2018. Our concerns are outlined below.
During the labour dispute at York University in 2015, the Osgoode Strike Support Committee (OSSC) and Student Caucus negotiated remediation terms with the Osgoode Administration to support students in actualizing their rights under Senate Policy 008. This policy entitled students who chose not to engage in academic activities to abstain without penalty.
In 2015, all students were given the option to elect a CREDIT/NO CREDIT notation to replace a letter grade on their transcript for any class, without requiring them to cease all academic activities. This policy was beneficial to all students because it recognized that all students, regardless of political viewpoints or allegiances to the broader labour movement, were robustly protected from the inevitable academic ramifications resulting from the disruption.
We write to you now to express our dismay and deep concern that the rights and protections for students in the 2015 strike are at risk of being clawed back. A remediation framework that does not offer a CREDIT/NO CREDIT option limits our ability to freely and fully realize our rights. Section 2.2.3 of Senate Policy 008 states that the learning experience of students accessing remediation cannot be guaranteed by the University. As such, providing the ability to access CREDIT/NO CREDIT option to all students is the only way to address the inequalities and inequities experienced by all students during a disruption, not just those expressly accessing remediation.
In keeping with past practice in previous years, we believe that all students should be accommodated so as to ensure no academic penalty as a result of the differential ways a labour dispute may impact them. The CREDIT/NO CREDIT option for all students is the only viable solution to address the diversity of student experiences during a labour dispute. This stems from a variety of reasons. The beliefs and values of some students prevent them from crossing picket lines. Additionally, some may be unable to cross for logistical or accessibility reasons. Others may have continued attending some or all academic activities and been negatively impacted by child care obligations, as well as mental health and wellness considerations. Others still may wish to access their rights under the Senate policy, but will essentially be forced to participate in the regularly scheduled exam and final paper deadlines due to external factors such as articling and licensing timelines, familial obligations, summer jobs, or financial constraints. These students have suffered and continue to suffer from extreme detriments to their learning and development as law students.
Many students, including those who cross physical or “virtual” picket lines, or who abstain from academics entirely, have shared experiences of anxiety, deep compromises to their own beliefs and values, and/or barriers to their learning and academic success. Therefore, in conjunction with a remediation plan for students opting not to participate in academic activities, we ask that you uphold the CREDIT/NO CREDIT option for all students.
Signatories to this letter support the addition of a credit/no credit option for all students.