Students in the Faculty of Information Studies are continuing to speak out against the media and production theory program cut announced late last month

With the upcoming Senate meeting on Oct. 21, where the program cut is on the agenda, students are hoping to have their voices heard by administration. 

FIMS student council president, Krista Pereira, sent an email to members of the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Awards which met earlier in October. 

SCAPA meetings are confidential, but Pereira hoped the individuals she reached out to would bring forward some of her concerns. 

Malcolm Ruddock, executive assistant to the president and provost, emailed Pereira back. Ruddock spoke on behalf of the president and provost and stated the "Senate's consideration on the future of the MTP program will be delayed until further consultation is undertaken."

Pereira said she viewed this as a positive and was happy the discussions at Senate would be postponed. But later she was informed SCAPA approved taking the MTP program cut to Senate for the final approval and the program would face a vote on Oct. 21. 

“We felt honestly defeated. We felt like all the work we’d done wasn’t really for anything," Pereira said.

Before the SCAPA meeting, University Students' Council vice-president Jamie Cleary sent the committee a letter speaking on behalf of the USC. In the letter, Cleary requested more student consultation to take place in cancelling the MTP program.

“I’m here to support students and if that’s what students from that faculty are wanting or are bringing up [as] concerns, I’m here to help them,” Cleary said in at interview.

USC President Eddy Avila plans on speaking at the Senate meeting and will mention similar concerns as Cleary. 

Although the program has not been officially removed (pending Senate approval), enrolment has halted — meaning no new students will be enrolled in the program next year.

Pereira said she and other FIMS students will attend the upcoming Senate meeting.

“Just so that our presence is felt there. Even if we can’t do anything to actually change the decisions that are made, we’re not rolling over,” Pereira said.

A new program has been approved in which high-achieving Fanshawe students with a diploma in broadcast journalism, radio broadcasting, television broadcasting or interactive media design can enter into a three-year specialization program at Western.

If in the event the MTP program is cancelled by Senate, Pereira said she will try to work with the administration to make the best of the new program.

FIMS Dean Thomas Carmichael did not respond to interview requests by The Gazette for this story. Other senior members of Western's administration also couldn't be reached for comment at the time of publication. 

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