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Verbatim Office Space

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The department of Linguistics merged with the department of German, Slavic and East Asian Languages last year to become the new department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures. As part of a larger plan to bring both halves of our department together, those Linguistics offices that are currently housed in the Social Sciences building will be moved closer to the non-linguistics half of the department in Craigie Hall. Unfortunately, this move may involve a significant downgrade in terms of office space for many of those involved, including Verbatim.

Verbatim is the University of Calgary's Undergraduate Linguistics Society. Averaging around 60 paid members a year (plus many more unpaid participants), Verbatim caters to the academic and social needs of the university's Linguistics undergraduate students and those who support them. We host several events throughout the year including workshops, academic talks, social events, speaking opportunities, and more. This is essential to support our growing undergraduate enrollment, which has increased by around 40% in the last four years while our permanent faculty (LING Instructors) has decreased by 50%.

Many events are too large to host in our small permanent office. However, this office is still used many times a day to house well-appreciated resources and provide essential academic (and social) functions.

The resources include:
- A library of Linguistics-specific texts (at least 400 books)
- Two computers (one Mac, one PC), connected to printers
- three white boards that are constantly in use
- tables and seating for at least 13 people (this is cramped, but still not always enough for those who wish to be in there)
- useful diagrams, models, maps, charts, etc.
- Linguistics/Language board games

The functions include:
- Exec-held office hours for academic support (18 scheduled hours a week, but the door is almost always open outside of these times)
- space for PASS Leaders to hold office hours
- impromptu study sessions whenever need-be (which is always)
- existing as a safe and private place to study after hours
- storage for everything club related including pop, snacks, records, forms and applications, promotional material, and cash box.

At this point, it has been proposed that Verbatim move into an office that it will share with all of the other clubs in our newly merged department. This office will not be with the Linguists. We know that our current space in SS803 is already as small as we can afford - we have too many functions and too much to store to be any smaller. In addition, we are very active and do not think that sharing our space with other clubs would be a good decision. Rather, we think that our level of office use would be disruptive to other clubs, and limiting for our own purposes. On top of that, we value the input of our faculty members and graduate students, and losing our physical proximity to them would lose much of the togetherness our Linguistics community currently has.

This petition will be presented to Nicholas Zekulin, Interim Department Head, as well as relevant planning committees. It may also be presented to higher administrative officials.

If you sign this petition, you are agreeing to the following.

1) I want Verbatim to continue having an office space so that it can provide support for the growing Linguistics community on campus.
2) I want Verbatim to have an autonomous office space (not shared) because I value the unique needs and requirements of our members, and the members of other LLC clubs.
3) I want Verbatim to have an office space that is in the same building and on the same floor as the vast majority of the Linguistics permanent faculty and graduate students, because our community is strong and worth maintaining.

Remember, advocating for Verbatim's office space is not just sticking up for Verbatim; it is also telling the school that Linguists at the UofC care about their program, its quality, its growth, and its treatment.

Thank you for your support!

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