Rules, Rules, Rules

Dustin Chelen - Thu Sep 13, 2012

As the Fall 2012 semester gets underway, you’re probably becoming increasingly aware of all the complex rules at the University of Alberta. For example, I’m sure you have already seen the statement regarding cheating and plagiarism on every one of your syllabi — ever wonder why that’s required for each and every class?

The University of Alberta has amassed a ton of rules during its 104 years of existence. Rules surrounding credit transfer, building hours, scholarships, study abroad, program changes, student groups, grading, appeals… The list goes on. In many cases, rules have their place: to protect students and help them graduate on time. In others cases, however, rules are outdated and bureaucratic and only result in a mountain of paperwork and time spent walking from office to office around campus — as if students weren’t already pressed for time.

Three years ago, the Provost struck the Academic Policy and Process Review Task Force (APPRTF) to look at these rules. Since then, they’ve reviewed 46 rules and processes that just don’t make sense. Some of the biggest changes include an updated grading policy, better communication on transfer credits, a review of the Withdrawal deadline, the removal of deferred exam fees, and better oversight over certificate programs.

Have you ever been frustrated by a rule or a process on campus? Do you think that a university degree could be easier to navigate?

The Students’ Union is looking for 3 students to sit as members of the APPRTF. The committee meets every month for 2 hours, and includes important university figures such as the Provost, the Dean of Students, the Registrar, Deans, Department Chairs, and others. If you’re interested in helping to change these rules, or want to put a really long acronym on your resume, consider applying! Check out the application package here.

Applications are due on September 20th.

Looking forward to fighting bureaucracy together!

Dustin Chelen