CASG proposes course outline policy change

Carleton’s Academic Student Government (CASG) is putting forth a proposal to Carleton’s Senate that would require professors to post course outlines a week before classes begin. The current policy allows professors to distribute the syllabi the day before the class begins. Justin Bergamini, CASG’s vice-president (operations), said he wants to ensure that students are not overwhelmed at the beginning of a semester. “Getting these course outlines available a week in advance would allow students to prepare themselves more for their year . . . a little bit of preparation at the beginning of the year can go a long way,” he said. Bergamini added students could explore more cost-friendly textbook options and better prepare for the semester ahead if the […]

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Letter: Contract instructing hurts students and professors alike

With so many contract instructors teaching our classes, students are being taught by working professionals, rather than by professors whose full-time job is to focus on students. This is having a negative effect on both the quality of the education we receive, and the perception of the value that our degrees hold. Students are paying for a high-quality education, but instead they are receiving lectures that are read out of a textbook by contract instructors, who generally don’t get much training or practical experience in even the most basic aspects of teaching—such as creating questions. This is an issue for a few reasons, but mainly because it is changing the way universities are perceived and contributes to students having to […]

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Letter: Professors should not be able to assign their own textbooks

Being a student can be tough on your finances, as tuition and living can be expensive. Most students rely on help from scholarships, Ontario Student Assistance Plan, parents, or a part-time job. Textbooks are another expense, one often crucial to learning. For one semester I pay around $300, which is incredibly cheap (thanks, journalism and women’s and gender studies). However, I have friends in engineering who have paid over $1,000. This is ridiculous considering tuition is already between $7,000-12,000 at Carleton, depending on your program. Of course there are ways to save money—most students buy used, or buy off Amazon. Some don’t buy the textbook at all, or split it with a friend also in the class. Downloading texts to […]

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Opinion: Grade rounding should have a policy

It’s a circumstance familiar to many Carleton students—your final percentage grade in a course sits between two letter grades. A 76.5 per cent, for example, is halfway between a B and a B+. You might see your grade on cuLearn, and assume anything .5 and above would be rounded up. That is, until the marks are updated on Carleton Central and you’re shocked to see your 76.5% is represented as a B, rather than the B+ you expected. This is a serious flaw and inaccuracy in the percentage to letter grade equivalency system at Carleton that can impact students’ education and postgraduate opportunities. Professors often begin the term with an overview of the course syllabus, and liken it to a […]

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Editorial: It’s time to solve the contract instructor issue

Contract instructors from Carleton, the University of Toronto, and York University have criticized their working conditions. These non-tenured instructors have the support of local unions, teaching assistants, and many students. But universities seem unwilling to move on finding a solution to their grievances. Contract instructor Andrew Robinson told the Charlatan that if he was a tenured professor, he would be making twice as much money for the work he is currently doing. He said more than one-third of classes at Carleton are taught by contract professors who are paid less, receive far fewer benefits, and don’t have the same job security as tenured professors. It’s understandable that universities cannot pay everyone equally, but there has to be a fairer system. […]

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