The futures of four faculties-- fine arts, communication and culture, social science and humanities-- will be decided in just a few months.
The University of Calgary's proposed arts amalgamation of the four unique faculties into one super faculty was initially brought to the General Faculties Council in mid-October, with the promise of a fact book, a group of deans to examine the current structure, one staff member from each relevant faculty to act as a representative and a special faculty council meeting. This process lacks an obvious but important voice-- students.
As of yet, there has not been any special faculties meeting scheduled to discuss the change. When and if there is, the Students' Union will be invited, but that's the only place where they will be heard directly. Individual faculty student reps can approach the one staff member in charge of listening to everyone's concerns, but after that their involvement ends.
The fact book promised for the end of October has not yet been released. It will compare the current structure of the U of C to other schools and "assess" their state. Meetings thus far within faculties have had few answers for the multitude of questions.
In the end, when decision time comes around, all the concerns, questions and arguments collected will be fed back to the two men who first brought the issue forward, president Dr. Harvey Weingarten and provost Dr. Alan Harrison. Four faculty members and another four SU reps represent nearly 7,000 students.
The university needs to gather its facts before approaching faculty members and students for consultation, but more importantly, this consultation should be publicized and students should be allowed to attend. If the university fails to do so, students should voice their concerns in a way that can't be ignored.