Relate to Senate: What to expect in the February 2019 meeting

The UBC Vancouver Senate meets monthly to discuss and vote on academic matters pertaining to the university. What goes on in the Senate chambers can often feel very overwhelming or dull to the average student, and the dockets posted before every Senate meeting can be long and tedious. Here’s what to expect at the February 2019 Senate meeting.

Suitability and usage of learning spaces

The Senate Academic Building Needs Committee has recently undertaken a study about the suitability and usage of learning spaces on the Vancouver campus. In its high-level findings, it reports that “Facilities Planning and Scheduling Services provide an outstanding level of service in relation to their respective portfolios; that the quality of learning spaces overall is excellent; and that the process for annual improvements to learning spaces is transparent and fair.” The report does, however, also identify room for improvement and recognizes that “some units undergo undue hardship due to the lack of higher priority access to large classrooms”.

New certificates

Under delegated authority, the Senate Curriculum Committee has recently approved certificate programs in financial economics, international politics, international relations and general arts studies; however, such approvals are reported to the Senate for information purposes. These certificates form part of an existing partnership UBC has with Tec de Monterrey, and registration in these programs is limited to students from Tec de Monterrey.

Next year’s term dates

Key dates for the 2019 winter and 2020 summer academic sessions will be announced by the registrar at this meeting of Senate. One highlight is that the break between winter term one and winter term two will stretch nearly three weeks, from Wednesday, December 18, 2019 (as the last day of exams for Term One) to Monday, January 6, 2020 (as the first day of classes for Term Two).

Jakob Gattinger is a fifth-year applied science student, and a student member and vice-chair of the UBC Vancouver Senate, as well as the chair of its Agenda Committee.