Student Senate caucus succeeds in lobbying for minors on degrees

graduating student hand accepting diploma

As of March 18, students can look forward to having minors printed on their degrees. With successful lobbying from Brock University’s student Senate caucus, including Spencer Dawson, Carlin Jessop, Sam Piccolo, Julia Polcyk-O’Neill, Kyle Rose, Jeremy Steinhausen and Chris Ventura, the team worked on the issue since Jan. 15 when the Undergraduate Student Affairs Senate Committee first met to discuss it. Following a detailed presentation of student input and feedback, the issue was delegated to the Undergraduate Program Committee for further deliberation and analysis, as per the Faculty Handbook.

Several weeks later, the issue was discussed at the committee, providing a mock document to highlight the viability of the initiative. Some concerns were raised at the administration level, however, with student input, the next steps will be finalizing the logistics, with the goal of having the $40 convocation fee remain the same. The intention is to have this change implemented in time for
spring convocation.

“The most important part of this whole endeavour is the capacity of Senate to work as a cohesive unit with representation from students, faculty, administration and community leaders/partners to make this student-run initiative a reality,” said Senate member and undergraduate representative Antonio Sergi.

“It is an outcome that is in the best interest of the Brock community. This simple change shows that the University is capable of progress and innovation. It highlights that the transdisciplinary nature of the institution, subsequently making Brock graduates more competitive in the job acquisition market. They may even be more privy to display their diploma in the workplace.”

“Minors on degrees is another big student issue crossed off the list at Senate,” added Masters in Education candidate Chris Ventura. “With the increased visibility of minors on degrees, this will encourage students to continue to explore different areas of study. I am proud of the undergraduate and graduate Senators for their work in shepherding this to a final, unanimous vote on the Senate floor.”

Third-year Environmental Tourism student Meghan Birbeck, who is also completing a minor in Economics, believes that this decision will benefit her in the workplace and distinguish her among competitors in the field.

“I took the required courses and worked hard to succeed in them, therefore I should be able to concretely prove on my degree that I completed them. I can physically show an employer that I am certified in another field aside from my major without having to worry whether or not they are questioning the validity of my words,” said Birbeck.

“I decided to minor in Economics because in first-year, I took an ECON course as an elective, thinking afterwards that it was an important subject to know and further explore. It contributes to having a well-rounded education as it is more focused on numbers and analytics rather than just language and essay-writing in my major.”

The success of having minors printed on degrees highlights students’ successes, as well as helping to make the ‘Both Sides of the Brain’ concept a reality.

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