Fanshawe you win; I give up

Header image for the article Fanshawe you win; I give up Credit: ILHAN ADEN
Opinion: It's easy to feel lost in the now empty halls of Fanshawe.

Guidance is something we all desire, something to hold onto to make sense of the darkness the unknown can bring. COVID-19 has made this all but more apparent to me.

What I did not expect is how alone traversing this new space would feel.

Isolation, whether through quarantine or social distancing, has made me rethink my expectations of the people I choose to surround myself with. When literal death is on the line not every hangout seems as important.

I’ve done what I believe is the responsible thing and wisely made use of the limited interactions I could have. I followed the rules and had my quarantine squad all summer long. I was excited to bring the same concept into the classroom thinking although this year will be different, at least we’re in this together.

At that point, the “blended” delivery for my program was confirmed by Fanshawe; I believed I would have a fair amount of time on campus with peers and professors.

Oh, how naïve of me.

Instead, I realized being part of a program in which communal effort is required to create quality work, online learning isn’t cutting it.

I feel the walls closing in as I’m stuck in a perpetual cycle of never-ending work. I’m on the cusp of drowning in a sea of pandemic fatigue and black zoom squares. And the worst part is… there is no lifeboat coming to save me. I’m on my own.

One might ask, why wait for help instead of seeking it out?

Trust me, navigating the apparent resources available to students is no easy feat.

Counselling is available if there is appointment space and academic accommodations exist if you have a professor willing to respond to your requests. It’s all a bad game of tag via phone and email, but I digress.

My main concern cannot be as easily dismissed.

Where is my education?

The ongoing lack of transparency pertaining to the decision-making process has left students like myself with more questions than answers.

Why were we not given a say so in the type of education we would receive?

Why was there no comprehensive curriculum available for review prior to paying tuition? How is it that we are paying the same tuition we paid last year — if not more for some — for a compromised and reduced education? “Maybe work in groups? You guys can figure it out, we’re all adults here. Help each other out!”

I’ve heard a variation of this from almost all my professors when asked clarifying questions about the curriculum. Who knew wanting structure surrounding the education I am paying for was considered childish?

The consumer-focused and capitalistic society of our world places a heavy expectation on the monetary exchange of goods and services. In other words, if I’m paying for an education, I expect to receive one.

Students everywhere are feeling the same pressure from their academic institutions resulting in a surge of online petitions. There are students fighting to be on campus, others to be off campus and many for a reduction and/ or partial tuition refund.

Although segmented in our demands, we are all fighting the same fight and that is to be heard. So what will it take for Fanshawe to listen?

Do we need to start a petition, or will it take a student hurting themselves for the administration to wake up to the disaster that is this semester?

I and the many others feeling the same, are going to have to dig deep to finish this semester off decently. The only way to survive is to work 24/7 and honestly, I don’t know if I have it in me.

So for now, Fanshawe you win; I give up.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.