Many University of Ottawa Nursing students are becoming increasingly concerned by the lack of communication on the part of the University of Ottawa regarding the ongoing college strike. Indeed, many University of Ottawa nursing students have seen their courses and clinicals cancelled because they are registered in a collaborative program with Algonquin College or the Pembroke Campus. Many of these students are demanding their home institution, the U of O, to provide more information regarding the impact of the strike on their studies. Here is their public letter:
Jacques Frémont, President
University of Ottawa
Hélène Perrault, Dean
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Ottawa
November 14, 2017
President Frémont, Dean Perrault,
We are part of a group of concerned students from the Algonquin/uOttawa Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. Our group is comprised of students from 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year. We are contacting you today because of the deep impact the continued college strike is having on the students in this program. As students of both Algonquin and uOttawa our situation has unique issues. Currently in week 5 of the strike, nursing students in the collaborative program face a number of outstanding issues which require clarification and support from the college and university.
• Students in the collaborative program have yet to receive information about how they will be compensated for lost clinical experience and the decreased quality of education caused by compressing course material into a shortened period of time if class resumes.In light of the deep impact on our academic pursuits, we request information from the University of Ottawa regarding its plan to ensure that we receive a quality education in these circumstances.
• It is also unclear how students in second year will be able to attend classes at the University of Ottawa campus which will have a regular start date if first semester completion overlaps with the second semester start date. Additionally, if students have not completed first semester prerequisite courses before the start date for second semester it is unclear if they will be able to attend second semester courses. We request clear information about what plan will be put in place should this situation occur.
• Currently the colleges are establishing funds to address the financial hardships students are going through. As uOttawa students we are concerned that we will be excluded from access to this funding. Neither the university or the college have yet addressed the financial hardships of collaborative students during the strike. We request confirmation that as UOttawa students we will still have access to this fund.
• Students in the collaborative program continue to wait for a detailed statement from the University regarding outstanding issues, such as possible reimbursement. The most recent statement only addresses changing withdrawal dates to reflect the changes in schedule caused by the strike. We request confirmation that a cancelled semester would lead to full reimbursement of our fees.
As students of the University of Ottawa who pay for high quality education we are asking for your support in the form of prompt action on these issues. We would respectfully ask that you consider the difficult position we are in as collaborative students caught in a strike that will continue until at least November 21st. We would also ask that the university do everything in its power to ensure that students are adequately compensated for any services that we have paid for but do not receive. The statements provided by the University of Ottawa lack clarity and give rise to speculation while simultaneously heightening our fears about our academic futures as Nursing students. We want to collaborate with college and university management to create a more proactive response to these issues. We are looking for support in dealing with these concerns before we are forced to act in our own best interests. We hope to receive a clear and detailed response to these pressing issues.
Concerned students of the Algonquin/UOttawa Collaborative Nursing Program
For more background information on this issue, related media article