Critical at Queen's

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We spend four years at Queen’s learning how to be critical — whether it’s of ourselves, our professors or the material we study.

Despite getting an education in the art of questioning, many of us forget to be critical of the methods of learning themselves.

As I reach the bitter end of my undergraduate years, a good experience overall, I know that it’s important to refrain from being apathetic about the future of teaching at this school.

Queen’s University seems to be falling short of its once grand reputation.

There isn’t enough space in residence, class sizes are too large and tuition rates are going up. Undoubtedly, my Queen’s experience has been lacking. Fourth-year classes that were once smaller than 20 people have now reached numbers beyond that. I still learned, but having individual time with a professor required more effort, a discouraging situation for a first-year student.

In lower years particularly, professors can’t focus on individual students as much anymore. The only concern is with education en masse.

How can you develop a discussion in a room full of nearly a hundred of your peers? This is a difficult way to encourage a strong education.

I’m more on the cynical side of the spectrum, but it’s important for students to have a critical impulse, especially when it comes to education itself.

You don’t need to be involved in student government or the campus newspaper to have something to say about what’s going on — everyone’s voice matters.

Post-secondary education is at a turning point. We’re trying to figure out how to get what we need without spending resources that we don’t have.

A new year brings renewed responsibility. It’s up to us to pay attention, wherever you stand in the school, to demand change where needed and be critical whenever something seems wrong.

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