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Fanshawe needs better communication for cancelled classes

Margaret Sheridan | Interrobang | News | October 8th, 2007



Sticky-note annoyance: Getting to class on time only to have your class canceled is a concern.

In all likelihood it will happen to a student once, maybe twice a term. Upon arriving, enthusiastically, or not, to one of their classes they'll be confronted by a small yellow piece of paper, one that has a General Arts and Science student upset enough to write to her president.

“People are waiting around in college for hours for class and then it's been cancelled,” said Tara Winters, who just started her first year at Fanshawe on a less than savory note. “In some cases [class is] in the morning and I, for example, have to drop my son off at a babysitter extra early in the morning to make it here for an 8 a.m. class, and then I don't find out it's cancelled until I get here and there's a post-it on the door.”

However, according to Joy Warkentin, the Senior Vice-President of Academic Services, if the cancellations have been a problem to the students they haven't received any complaints.

“There have been no student complaints in the school or in the offices, not one,” Warkentin explained. “If they aren't going to their divisional office to complain, there's nothing we can do. If they've got a class cancelled they need to go to the divisional office and say that the class was cancelled there, because maybe the chair doesn't know about it.

“It's possible that the teacher has cancelled it and the chair doesn't know. So they need to take the proper steps, which is going to the divisional office to say it was cancelled and having them look into it.”

Warkentin approached a number of Deans at Fanshawe to see what the numbers were regarding class cancellations, and according to the Deans they were relatively low, with the most cancellations in a program amounting to eight total classes lost in the Business programs.

“I will certainly put it on my agenda for my meeting with the academic chairs and discuss the problems it's causing for the students,” said Warkentin. “But [students] need to go to the chair about the difficulties they're having because there may be classes being cancelled that the chair doesn't know about.”

“I think if someone can go out of their way to put a note on the door how it can be such an extra effort to send out a little note to the class list?” Winters continued. “I think it's the head of the department that should be letting us know, I'm not going to put it on the teachers.”

“People do get sick, things happen that you have to cancel classes,” finished Warkentin. “I can certainly raise the issue in my meetings and suggest they find a way to let the students know.”
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