Young student parents deserve better support from the Queen’s community.
In a Journal feature on students with children, one student mother, Logan Weaver, said she felt isolated from professors and peers, and found it difficult to find University resources.
According to Weaver, some professors told her to drop classes or to take online courses because of her daughter. Another professor refused to make an exemption to a “no cellphones in class” rule, despite Weaver explaining her situation.
Once Weaver told her peers she was a mother, she said, they stopped speaking to her.
The unfortunate behaviour of these professors and students speaks to a pervasive prejudice present against young student parents.
The Queen’s community should be proud to have members who are committed to getting an education despite the obstacles of taking care of a child.
Queen’s has resources and bursaries that young parents can use listed on their website, but the majority of the resources, including the Ban Righ Centre, are primarily advertised towards mature students.
The list of resources is also difficult to find, scattered and outdated.
The resources and information relevant to undergraduate parents should be updated, consolidated and centralized both on Queen’s website and in the Ban Righ Centre building. This will clarify to undergraduate parents that there are resources for them, so they aren’t discouraged from applying to a seemingly inaccessible university.
The University’s existing accommodation options should be communicated to professors, so that they know where to direct student parents.
The average student can ensure they don’t bolster the existing stigma against young parents. Reaching out can make all the difference to ensure their peers with children don’t feel isolated from their own community.
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