We’re only three days into the semester and we’ve heard from a number of students who are questioning, contrary to the University’s marketing slogan, whether they really belong here at MRU.
We say, unequivocally, that you do belong. As students ourselves, we get that students’ needs are as diverse as we all are, and that many of you already face obstacles to completing your degree — from food to housing to finances to personal and psychological security. What you don’t need to add, on top of everything else, is to wonder whether you are being treated unfairly simply because of who you are.
Instructors hold a lot of power in the classroom and therefore have a greater responsibility to create an environment in which students can succeed. Students need to trust they are being treated equitably and judged fairly, but that trust can be severed when the person who holds more power in the relationship disparages the backgrounds and historical or personal experiences of particular groups of students whole-cloth. Many academic disciplines rely on subjective evaluation, and the relevance of a University education requires that students have confidence that they are being evaluated on the quality of their scholarship and not otherwise.
Your Students’ Association supports the right to learn and inquire freely (we are, after all, learners), and we affirm diversity of opinion and of being while also remembering our common humanity and the importance of connecting with each other to gain a shared understanding. This is why we at SAMRU strive to create respectful environments for all our members — an environment in which they can learn about and from each other — and why we uphold standards and expectations for a respectful, caring community.
SAMRU is governed and represented by students and exists to help you succeed, while celebrating your successes along the way. We want our members – you, the students of MRU – to know that the elected student Representation Executive Council (REC) is here to make sure students’ interests are heard by decision-makers and by those who influence your academic life. So if you’re worried or upset about something that’s affecting your university experience, please let us know.
MRU is still a warm and welcoming community where faculty, administration, staff and, of course, your Students’ Association are here to support you. SAMRU will continue to represent and serve students to ensure that we all have an opportunity to undertake our academic journeys in an equitable, respectful, and productive environment which honours our differences and celebrates our diversity.
Your SAMRU Representation Executive Council (REC)