To understand today’s topic (aka rant), you’ll have to know a little about me. I’m currently in my fourth year at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo studying English, Philosophy and Religion. As many of you may scoff because I am strictly an Arts student, to you I only have to say- we’ll talk in ten years. Trudging on however… Upon returning to school this year, I have noticed many changes around campus and not many pleasant ones. For instance, the number of students when I came to Laurier in my first year was significantly smaller than the running total of 12,000 we have here today. The reason I chose Laurier was because of it’s size and I believed with less students, the more attention I would be given by my professors, advisors or teacher’s assistants. In four years I have never been more disappointed as I was when I walked into my tutorial. In first year we were divided into groups of fifteen to twenty students per T.A and yet today in a course that is considered a second year class, there were almost thirty. I find this to be distressing because in the entire time I spent within this room (which we all barely fit in) I was never given the opportunity to learn anything from my T.A because she was too busy with the other students. As a fourth year, I do not particularly need the attention of the T.A but for first or second year students I find this troublesome as they may not receive the proper instruction necessary to progress through their academic careers.
Not only have I been disappointed through the lack of appropriate attention given to the students here, I am appalled by the new approach the school is taking to the student life on campus. Working on campus was a favourite past time of not only mine but many other students, however due to the increase of students that have been accepted in the past two years it is almost impossible to find somewhere to do your work. The concourse, 24 Lounge and the library are overflowing with students either lounging or doing work, either way the ratio remains the same- not enough space. I understand the need to expand or promote our school but not at the cost of the current students- Laurier needs to remain in touch with not only it’s first and second year students but the upper level students as well.
Lastly, as most problems today deal with money- I must criticize Laurier on the rise of costs on campus in consideration to both food and beverages. As a student who supports myself in both academic and living terms, I find it appalling that in order for me to go to the dining hall I have to pay anywhere from eight dollars to twelve dollars to not only just ENTER the dining hall but as a general fee to eat there. So this means there can be no take out unless previously ordered and this also means for a student wanting to just get an apple or salad quickly cannot do so without being massively overcharged. In order for their new “all you can eat” meal plan, students must leave their bags in a locker outside the dining hall and only then may they enter. A place that was designated for studying, meeting, interacting, visiting and may other things has become a place strictly for first year students, as upper year students often do not have meal plans in their budget. Paying twelve dollars for a salad and possibly a slice of pizza is, in my opinion, ludicrous. After realizing this scandal, I decided to check out the Terrace only to realize that it would cost me around the same to order a quesadilla from Union Market (more specifically around ten dollars). To be so strict on students being able to eat what they want, when they want or even where is a concept so foreign to me because the Laurier I’ve attended for the last four years has always been a place where I have chosen what I wanted, not the other way around.
I understand the need for change or progression for the future, as the younger generations are “our future” but not at the cost of our current students. What purpose do these changes serve, other than to benefit a place that already is receiving far too much money in tuition, membership, medical, and countless other fees from it’s students. I have never regretted my decision to attend Laurier University, however I am very glad that this will be my final year here, as it is no longer the haven it used to be for me and many others.