Second-year students rally

Feedback session organized following criticisms of Politics deparment

Second-year political studies students are having their grievances heard at a department feedback session, to be hosted next Thursday. The event was organized to gain insight into concerns second-year students have raised about the Politics department.

The results of the session will be compiled into the report and given to the department in December.

Isabelle Duchaine, student council (DSC) executive member for the department, created the event alongside Adam Grostky, ASUS academics commissioner.

Tegan Marie, a political studies student and ASUS Board of Directors member who helped create the event, said she is specifically disappointed with POLS 262 this semester.

“The Professor was away for six weeks of the semester.

“We had one hour of class per week instead of three,” Marie, ArtSci ’16, said.

The class watched a documentary for two weeks, and had other classes lead by TAs “who had little to no experience teaching”, she said.

“We pay tuition to be taught by experienced professionals, and I feel as though the students of POLS 262 were not given this experience,” Marie said.

Marie said she plans to voice these concerns at the feedback session.

Sam Bellefeuille, ArtSci ’16, voiced similar concerns about the course.

“I appreciate what the TAs are doing, [but] I’m paying to be instructed by a professor, not a TA,” he said.

He said he has been displeased with the lecture style in some second-year POLS classes.

“The lecture style, while fine in some courses, has been extremely sub-par in others, often leaving me and other students more confused about the lesson plan,” he said.

If assignments were coordinated better, he said, that would be an improvement.

“The scheduling of assignments has been demonstrated to be quite poor, with several assignments due on the same day,” he said.

Bellefeuille said grading seems to be a widespread issue with second-years, as well as upper-year students.

“Marking across the faculty seems exceedingly harsh, with often very little feedback regarding marks being available,” he said.

“This makes adjusting one’s approach to writing a paper… to get a better mark very difficult.” Isabelle Duchaine, ArtSci ’14, said an influx of student concerns prompted the discussion.

“[The DSC was] receiving a lot more questions about students within second year about the transition between the first and second year, and the courses,” she said.

The feedback session will be good for students as well as the department, she said.

“Things I’d like to see come out of this is a greater understanding both from students and … from the department about what we expect students to walk away from after the first two years of politics,” she said.

Duchaine said she met with the politics department this Wednesday afternoon to tell them the event will be happening.

Feedback will be given to the faculty in December, so that the faculty is not overwhelmed with complaints, she said.

“[The session] is a good step forward for students to realize that they can have a say by knowing what’s happening in their department, and hopefully getting involved,” she said.

The Second Year POLS Feedback Session will take place on Nov. 28 in the Kingston Hall Red Room at 5 p.m.

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