Students who think they are receiving a lower grade than deserved, or are having their academics treated unfairly are receiving a body to fight on their behalf.
A centre focused on developing recommendations and critiques to post-secondary educational policy, the Centre for Educational Research and Policy (CERP), was ratified during the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) board of directors meeting last week.
According to the CERP’s creator, RSU vice-president Daniel Lis, the centre is expected to be running by the beginning of May, with hiring taking place during the month of April.
“When you’re dealing with an unfair rule in the process of appealing a grade, it’ll be an organization like CERP that could take a look at that rule and make recommendations to change it, similar to something that the ombudsperson does,” Lis said. “But CERP will not only work in the university level but provincially and federally to make educational recommendations on those policies.”
CERP will also look into the development of Open Educational Resources or open textbooks, which are digitized texts that don’t have restrictive licences. As of now, there will not be a designated physical space that CERP will be operating from aside from common working spaces in the RSU offices.
During the board meeting, Lis also notified the board of a bylaw amendment to change the responsibilities of the vice-president of education, adding the management and overseeing of CERP and educational grants. Since it’s a bylaw amendment, the motion can only be ratified at RSU general meetings and will be presented at the fall 2018 semi-annual general meeting.
“They fix[ed] some language that was outdated, but the main additions was that the vice-president education deals now with grants that are focused on education, like the creative development grant, as well as CERP,” Lis said.
Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said that even though the RSU is independent from the university, Ryerson is open to recommendations.
“I will leave it to the students to judge the importance of such Centre for Educational Research and Policy and they will decide and determine how to use such policy and how to hold it accountable. But we are here to work with the RSU,” Lachemi said.