On Jan. 15, the Undergraduate Student Affairs Senate Committee met to discuss student issues, including transition times between classes, accessibility to the under-construction Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the addition of minors in graduation degrees. Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President Academic, Greg Finn, informed the committee that the issue is currently regulated in the Brock University Faculty Handbook, falling under the jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Program Committee.
Senate chair, Susan Sydor, said that the issue has been raised in the past, but nothing had come to light following a transitional period in Senate committee membership. As per their decision, a recommendation would be added to the Undergraduate Program Committee agenda. Sydor continued the conversation about the issue, stating how the move made logistical and practical sense, as alumni may be more likely to hang their diplomas in their workspaces after graduation.
“Maybe the time is now, maybe this is perfect timing,” said Sydor, which seemed to be a sentiment shared by many individuals serving on the committee.
Don Cyr, Dean of the Goodman School of Business, described the merit in adapting minors on degrees as participants in the post-secondary education section.
“We have moved into a world where specific certification is important to not only enhancing integration to the work sphere, it also enhances Brock as a trans-disciplinary institution,” said Cyr. “This is a reasonable change [and] could potentially impact Graduate students’ applications, as well as enhances their academic transcript.”
Committee chair and Senator Larry Savage concluded that students should continue their efforts in making this issue known at the Senate level. He proposed a motion that would confirm the Undergraduate Program Committee to address this issue and devise an approach to have the issue be discussed.
“At this point, the question seems to be one of ‘why not?’,” said Sam Piccolo, who sits on both the Student Program Committee and Undergraduate Affairs Committee.
“Students who have completed minors have this accomplishment noted on their transcripts, and it is appropriate that the same be recognized on physical degrees. The student Senators are looking forward to meeting with the Registrars’ Office next week and are hopeful that progress will be made”.
It is a reasonable popular belief that the printing of minors on the degrees will highlight the diverse amount of programming that Brock has to offer, and maintain the University’s reputation as a trans-disciplinary institution competitive among other post-secondary institutions across Canada.
This simple change has the capacity to potentially inspire future generations of Badgers to apply and alumni to hang the document proudly on the walls of their future workspaces.
*** Antonio Sergi is a member of Senate and a BUSAC councillor.