Senate approves proposal to state majors on arts diplomas

Arts diplomas will now have majors printed on them, following Senate approval on April 15.

This is the project of Arts Student Senator Charlotte Gilby, who spent the last year gathering consultation from students and working with faculty to make this a reality. She said that the goal is that diplomas for students graduating this year will have their majors on them.

“Everything in the proposal was aimed for getting it passed for May 2020, so that’s what we’re still working towards. If there’s any hiccups … we’ll fix them,” Gilby said.

The student consultation survey received over 1,400 student responses, about 10 per cent of the arts undergraduate population. Of that group, 97.7 per cent said they would support a change to include majors on diplomas.

Gilby worked on this with several people within the faculty of arts, including Associate Dean Academic Dr. Stefania Burk and the Enrolment Services.

The Senate proposal outlines the specifics of the plan, detailing how different majors will be written if students have double or combined majors as well as if they have a co-op certification and other designations.

An issue that the team faced was how to deal with people who have double majors in majors with long titles.

To solve this, Gilby said they found the two longest titles of majors and combined them, making the longest possible combination in the faculty of arts being “Honours in Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies and Honours in Gender, Race and Social Justice.”

“We printed that out on mock parchments to see whether or not that will fit and it did,” she said. “That was the biggest issue we had and we were able to painstakingly go through and see how many letters a line could fit and it worked.”

Gilby added throughout the process, she was a “bit overwhelmed” with the level of support from students and faculty.

“What was really touching is after it passed, [Arts] Dean [Gage] Averill and I were exchanging communication and he was like ... ‘Even though you don’t get your convocation this year in person as other years have, we hope that this is … something for the graduating class to look forward to,’” she said.