Third year Media Studies students at the University of Guelph-Humber are hoping for reimbursement of a Web Design class after several classes were cancelled this semester and the professor replaced, with a petition claiming they did not receive the education they had paid for.
In the Media Studies program at Guelph-Humber, students specialize into several different streams. One of the core differences between the Digital Communications and Visual Communications is that the Digital students learn basic coding via a series of cumulative Web Design classes.
Students that launched an online petition say their original professor cancelled several classes before the fall Reading Week break and then was replaced with a new professor that “had no knowledge of what the students had missed out on”.
Because of this, those enrolled in the course missed out on the skills they were supposed to learn ahead of their second Web Design class taking place in the Winter 2020 semester.
The amount of classes that the students have missed equates to half of the semester due to several class cancellations as well as time to find a replacement professor.
Students had the opportunity to drop the class without suffering an academic penalty, but were told they were not going to receive a refund and would ultimately have to retake the course.
Assistant Media Studies Program Head Adam Miller said in response to The Avro Post that “since students pay a flat fee for the term, they are not paying for instruction by the hour, but rather for the completion of between four and five credits per semester. As it currently stands, you are on track to complete the course, which is ultimately what was paid for”.
Briana Fee, who organized the petition to “motivate my fellow classmates to come together and voice our opinion on the situation at hand” is a third year Digital Communications student at Guelph-Humber have spoken to Adam Miller extensively through emails and has reached out to Kathy Ullyott, who is the media program head.
Fee and her peers believe that Guelph-Humber should take more accountability for their actions instead of remaining “in denial”.
Nick Brindley, one of the students impacted in the situation, said that “we were told we would be taught advanced CSS and moderate Java Script but only reviewed CSS from our second year course and very basic Java Script”.
Miller has addressed the situation by offering learning sessions that will be held in December and January that will be “more personalized”, but according to Briana “no student I’ve communicated with in the [Digital Communications] program has said they will be able to attend”.
When suggested that the sessions should be recorded that way all the students would have access to the lecture no matter how busy their schedules are, Briana was told “the learning sessions are meant to be like workshops and will be more one on one” clarifying that it would not be beneficial to record it.
Fee told The Post that “the situation makes me feel unimportant in the eyes of the university”.
She added that this ordeal will be taken as a lesson and hopes that “future students won’t have to deal with a similar situation”.
For individuals interested in supporting the cause, they can sign the petition at change.org. The petition currently has 288 signatures but organizers aim to hit 500 signatures.
The Avro Post reached out to the Media Studies Program Head Kathy Ullyott for comment but has not yet received a response.