Dr. Erin Manning
Director, PhD Program in the Humanities
Associate Professor, Film Studies and Studio Art
Research Chair, Philosophy and Relational Art
Dear HUMA students,
As director of the PhD in the Humanities I want to publically recognize your hard work and determination to raise important issues around the right to accessible education. I have found your efforts to work collectively and democratically as part of a broader student movement inspiring. Your motivation toward finding ways to keep education accessible and better the conditions for teaching and learning are very important in these times of budgetary constraint. It is understood across the university that the decision to strike was made democratically, and Concordia respects the right to protest.
The Humanities PhD program will make all the necessary accommodations within the constraints of University regulation to support the rights of students to protest. I say this knowing that you are all involved in the kind of high quality work that distinguishes us as a top research program in the country and a hub of international talent from across the globe.
While I cannot speak to individual decisions made in departments where you are currently enrolled in courses, know that from the perspective of the Humanities PhD program no one will be sanctioned for not attending class during the ongoing student protests. The Humanities PhD program supports all its students in their decision to protest. Given the fact that HUMA students have not attended classes since March 12th (when you made the collective decision to strike), I expect most of you will be receiving IPs for the winter term. We will honour these IPs for the duration of the protest. This should not be in confict with recent changes in graduate studies regulations as my understanding is that the new IP regulations will not be implemented for the winter 2012 term even though they are already outlined in detail on the School of Graduate Studies website.
One way or another, please know that I strongly support the extension of HUMA students’ IPs until the ongoing protest is terminated. You stand out within the Concordia community as a cohort of students who have outstanding qualifications—a large percentage of you have FQRSC and SSHRC funding and are regarded as first-rate by the professors with whom you work – and I am proud to be associated with you. I have no concerns as to your capacity to eventually complete classwork and receive high standing for it.
I encourage you to maintain contact with your professors from outside the Humanities program to keep them aware of your situation vis-à-vis the student strike. You are welcome to share this letter with other faculty letting them know that the Humanities PhD program supports you.