Important update regarding academic accommodation

The Student Association of George Brown College (SAGBC) discovered a policy titled: “A Statement of Principles and Procedures Regarding Academic Issues During and Following A Disruption of Academic Programming” on the George Brown website. It was reviewed and approved by the Board of Governors on Aug. 31, 2006, as it was intended to support the post-strike period that occurred at that time.

On Nov.27, 2017 the SAGBC executive committee reminded the college of this policy, as it already covered a number of the questions and requests for governing principles the executives posed to the administration, such as fairness to students, student success and academic integrity. In addition, the policy outlined alternative methods that the faculty could utilize to ensure student success post-strike.

This policy outlined multiple alternatives to safeguard students’ learning outcomes, such as:

1. Pass/fail option may be used in limited cases where faculty members have sufficient evidence that students have/have not met the essential outcomes, but they do not have sufficient information to use the standards grading values.

2. Aegrotat standing may be used in exceptional cases (a) where students, for good reason, have not been able to complete the work required for evaluation and (b) where the faculty member is confident that the students are sufficiently prepared to graduation or to the next level of study.

3. Standing Deferred may be used if outcomes have to be postponed to a subsequent semester. This would be used where students will not have the opportunity to learn critical material and cannot reasonably do so in the time available.”

                  – George Brown College, Academic Policies and Guidelines (August 31, 2006)

On Nov. 27, 2017, the SAGBC executive members had wanted to post this policy, for the sake of students’ awareness, as of as they recognize there is still a lot of stress and anxiety coming off of the strike.

On Nov. 28, 2017, after the executives presented this policy to the College, and they were informed that it had been rescinded and it was removed from the website. The executives of the SAGBC asked for the date and minutes from the Board of Governors meeting where this policy was supposedly rescinded.

On Nov. 29, 2017, the College informed the executive that their labour relations staff advised that there was no issue with using the original policy as it was written in 2006 and they will repost it back to the website.

While this is great news, there needs to be recognition of this failing of awareness on the College’s part during the negotiations between the SAGBC and the College. The SAGBC demanded from the College that this policy be reposted on its website, and we are happy to announce that it has been reposted.

In conclusion, the executives of the SAGBC will continue to advocate for the wellbeing of students and the utmost success of their semester. The executive members of the SAGBC encourage students to use this policy as they continue their academic year.

Sincerely,
Riddhi Modi, Director of Communications and Internal
Mercedes Burrowes, Director of Campus Life
Tiffany White, Director of Education
Alex Steward, Director of Equity

Download this letter as a pdf.

Executive Update Regarding College Strike

Faculty Strike Related Questions

Students want to know where the negotiations are at the moment. We are asking for the College to be more transparent and provide more information on a regular basis.

Questions Directly from Our Members:

  1. In terms of the tuition refund petition that is circulating online, is there any support or say regarding that from the College?
  2. The College needs to account for the tuition fee that students paid in the beginning of the semester. Teachers were scheduled to work x number of hours for the semester. Since the teachers are not teaching and not getting paid from the College, where is our tuition fee money going to?
  3. What are the options already being discussed as to how the College and faculty going to address the missed classes. Are they going to condense the materials, are they going to give assignments instead of exams (depending on the program), are they going to extend the semester? The students need to know so they can start planning accordingly. It’s very difficult when you have no clue as to what might happen. It is easier for students to deal with the stress of the strike if they have a clearer picture of what it could be like once the strike is over.
  4. Why did some teachers ask their students to still submit assignments even when the strike is on? Will students be penalized with late marks if they don’t?
  5. a) Will the College send the enrollment confirmation to OSAP as scheduled to avoid delay on OSAP disbursement in January?

b) What are the ramifications of this strike on our OSAP loan? If we do not finish first semester on time, what can happen to our OSAP funds? Will OSAP hold the release of the January funds until the completion of the first semester

6. What supports will be in place for students when the strike is over and classes resume? For example, extended TLC hours for those working on assignments/preparing for exams.

7.How does this affect tuition?

8.How will this affect the vacation period? The next semester? The 7-week courses? When will the December break be?

9.What can students do in this situation?

  1. Need to address the issue of the ability to drop a class. Is it still possible for students to drop? Will the deadline be moved? Will students be stuck with their classes because the deadline has passed?

November 3, 2017
Executive Update Regarding College Strike

With the strike in its third week, we know that students are frustrated and anxious. Over the past few weeks your Student Association (SA) has been receiving feedback from students and has been working hard to advocate for you.

Recently, your SA Executives had a meeting with George Brown College President Anne Sado and Interim Executive Dean Dr. Cory Ross along with other members of the college. At this meeting, we presented them with questions sourced directly from students with the help of our Academic Advocacy staff. Your SA Executives were able to secure the following important updates from the college:

  • The November 3rd deadline to withdraw from the courses without academic penalty has been extended to November 24th.
  • 24-hour library access will be available to the students starting one week after classes resume.
  • The college has confirmed that OSAP won’t be affected as of right now, including the payments in January 2018. However the impact on OSAP loans will depend on the length of strike and instructions from the Ministry that are not yet available. Once the strike is over, the college will send out any updates to OSAP.
  • Students are encouraged to work on their assignments, however they will not be penalized for missing any original deadlines that fell within the strike period.
  • For international students, as of right now the college has confirmed that their study permits will not be affected because of the strike.
  • The Deans of George Brown have confirmed that details of semester completion will vary by program, but will be guided by the following principles:
  1. Courses will pick up where they left off.
  2. Plans will recognize that students need notice before writing tests and completing assignments.
  3. Students will receive the support they require to complete their academic year. Individual needs and circumstances will be taken into consideration for students who require additional support or accommodation.

We are still awaiting further clarifications on a number of other questions that we have asked the college. We continue to have ongoing communication with the college and will continue to provide updates to our students as we receive them. We will continue to fight to ensure that the impacts on our students from this strike are as limited as possible.

Sincerely,

Riddhi Modi
Director of Communications and Internal                     

Mercedes Burrowes
Director of Campus Life

Tiffany White
Director of Education                                                               

Alex Stewart
Director of Equity