AUS hosts Town Hall

Students had an opportunity to express their concerns to an administrative panel at the Arts Town Hall on Tuesday. The panel, comprised of the Dean of Arts Christopher Manfredi, as well as three associate deans, fielded questions ranging from tuition hikes to TA accountability.

The event, hosted by the AUS, was held in the Arts Lounge and was chaired by AUS VP Academic, Jade Calver.

Calver presented the panel with a host of questions, most pressingly on whether they agreed with Principal Heather Munroe-Blum’s commitment to raise tuition. In response, all four committee member agreed it is a smart decision. “We have a shortage of resources,” Manfredi stated, “and we can get these resources through tuition fees.”

Students also expressed distress about TA cutbacks and accountability.

Associate Dean of Academic Administration and Oversight, Suzanne Morton, responded that the problem stems from greater demand on resources. “Despite popular notion, the TA budget has not been cut,” said Morton. The problem, Morton added, is that the budget has not grown.

Students also raised the issue of teacher inaccessibility, saying that it was difficult to have sufficient contact with many of their teachers. Panel members pointed to office hours in response. Andre Costopoulos, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, affirmed that in order to build a relationship with your teacher you must also connect with your work, saying, “The surest way to engage with a professor is to engage with the material.”

Throughout the night, panelists encouraged students to use the resources available to them, such as course evaluations or their respective representatives to varying administrative bodies to raise any outstanding issues. “Students are well-represented in all levels of administration,” said Costopoulous. “Students don’t take advantage of this. People do listen to student bodies.”