Demonstrators gather at the BC Legislature in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on Feb. 7. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

UVic professors opt to cancel, alter classes to accommodate protests

Several post-secondary instructors encourage students to attend demonstrations

Some post-secondary professors have leaked their politics into their classrooms, opting to cancel classes to accommodate protest attendees.

In recent weeks hundreds of people have been involved in protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who are vetoing the installation of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline in what they claim as unceded territory in northern B.C. The demonstrations also call for more action from the provincial and federal governments in relation to reconciliation, and further investigations into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

ALSO READ: UVic students walk out in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

While the causes are complex, a simpler question emerges from the large turnout of young people in the protests: why aren’t all these people in school?

At least one University of Victoria professor chose to accommodate “several” students hoping to attend this week’s demonstration at the B.C. Legislature by cancelling his class.

Political science assistant professor Simon Glezos sent out an email to his Poli 300C class that he would cancel class on Feb. 11 to accommodate protesters, causing significant changes to his class structure. The email was shared to Twitter by a student with the handle Ford Clapperton (@FordClap).

“[B]ecause we’re already behind a class due to the snow day, I don’t think we’ll have time to get through all the material I wanted before the midterm,” Glezos wrote. “As such, I am rescheduling the midterm for our first class back from reading break.”

While some students would have been happy about this choice, others were vexed.

ALSO READ: Canadians split over support of northern B.C. pipeline, Wet’suwet’en protesters

“I wonder, will UVic be offering students a refund for the class their staff decided to cancel?” responded Twitter user Brian Boyle Quon (@604BBQ).

Black Press Media reached out to Glezos directly about his decision, but did not receive a reply.

Other instructors, such as Environmental Studies sessional lecturer Nick Montgomery, simply brought class to the demonstrations instead.

a

The University of Victoria told Black Press Media that under the correct circumstances, classes could be cancelled.

“The academic responsibilities of a faculty member include a combination of self-directed and assigned tasks in the areas of teaching, research and scholarly activity, and service to their department and faculty,” wrote Paul marc, associate manager of public affairs for UVic. “As per the Collective Agreement between UVic and the Faculty Association, faculty who plan to cancel classes are required to seek approval from the department chair or dean and make mutually acceptable arrangements to ensure required curriculum is covered.”

Marck could not confirm whether Glezos received this approval. He also said UVic does not collect information on cancelled classes to estimate how many students missed class.

In stark contrast to the UVic protocol, Camosun College does not allow professors to cancel classes under these circumstances.

ALSO READ: Demonstrators block government buildings across Greater Victoria

“The protocol at Camosun College is not to cancel classes. To the best of our knowledge, no classes were cancelled due to the recent protests,” wrote Rodney Porter, executive director of communications and marketing at Camosun College.

Hundreds of people turned out to an event titled “Shutdown the BC Government” on Friday, where people blocked more than 30 government buildings. It was unconfirmed whether more classes were cancelled on Friday to accommodate the event.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Coastal GasLinkprotest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Voting now ready for Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read