Probation doesn’t compute

Queen’s Computing Students’ Association (COMPSA) will have its Orientation Week autonomy put on probation in Sept. 2010. COMPSA will instead be integrated with the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS)’s Orientation Week.

Acting Faculty of Arts and Science Associate Dean (Studies) Hugh Horton said COMPSA lost its independent orientation week privileges due to past problems with the Academic Orientation Committee (AOC), a board made up of faculty, staff and students.

Faculty of Arts and Science Associate Dean (Studies) Brenda Ravenscroft outlined the difficulties with COMPSA’s orientation week in a file she left for Horton before departing on sabbatical. AOC’s problems with COMPSA’s Frosh Week include missed meetings and disorganization.

COMPSA has been running an independent Orientation Week for about the past five years, and will hire a committee to help plan the 2010 Orientation Week with ASUS despite the probation. The choice to place COMPSA’s Orientation Week on probation belittles the work of computing student leaders who have run an independent program in the past.

It’s also unfortunate the decision was made so suddenly, rather than choosing to note the issues and carefully observe next year’s COMPSA Orientation Week to see how it goes. The fact one Associate Dean made the decision based on the notes of another suggests there might have been relevant information lost in the transfer, and leaves students to speculate about what might have been overlooked.

Amalgamating COMPSA’s Orientation Week with ASUS’s seems to lack the

innovation of a true solution to the problem.

COMPSA will have much of its original content replaced by the general, anonymous ArtSci events. Without their unique sessions and events, COMPSA’s new Orientation Week is less likely to create the same sense of belonging it used to.

Amalgamating COMPSA’s Orientation Week with ASUS’s events will require careful communication and co-ordination. Otherwise, the project is likely to suffer from the same disorganization that caused the initial probation while also eliminating the tight-knit atmosphere of computing students’ orientation.

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