At best, they are in fact located in British Columbia.
I’ve never experienced such a professional clusterfuck. My instructors gave me feedback that set me up for failure time and time again. They had three years to explain to me that when they said “be less craft-focused” they meant “our methodology teaches learners that they have nothing to learn. It doesn’t work if you keep having the opinion that most first drafts are not structurally perfect. This program only knows how to discuss *final* draft concerns despite requiring the student to submit first drafts of work written for the class.”
Other learners — occasionally — touched on the same structural issues in their critique that I saw. I always wondered if they got the lovely “Fuck academic freedom and its protection for commenting freely. We’re never actually going to say ‘don’t talk about craft’ because even we know how bad that would look in writing, so less is implied to mean absolutely none.”
When Andrew Szeri “explained” that that was intentional, it blew me away. When the program’s director couldn’t explain why they were teaching the program the way they did, it was bad enough. When Szeri said the program’s objective was to control what was said and how it was said so as to not even nudge a learner’s preconceived notions, it explained everything. But I couldn’t believe the Provost of a premier “university” would put in writing that they intended their program to attack academic freedom at the methodology-level of the program.
But then he also put in writing that his program uses “standard industry tools.” He refused to answer my question as to how teaching writers that their final draft is a first draft plus polish is even a non-standard industry tool.
Academic freedom is the protected freedom to question shit. Andrew J. Szeri, Dr. Santa Ono, Dr. Ono’s entire administration, and the University Counsel all cash their metaphorical cheques from an academic **institution.** That means they have to abide by the rules of that academic institution.
If I worked at a gas station, there would be policies dealing with cheques, cashing out and opening procedures. They are not the structured, controlled documents that an institution requires to operate as an institution, of course, but if I took an out-of-town cheque without taking any form of ID from the cheque casher for hundreds of dollars over the total, I could be fired. If I was late all the time, the company wouldn’t even need to write a “don’t be late” policy so that I could be fired for breaking it. If I just had a bad attitude, I could be let go.
None of those things are against the law. All of them would have been valid reasons to be fired given enough attempts to retrain the worker. If I hired a “U”BC lawyer to represent me because it is not against the law to be late, I would be laughed out of my wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
But the University Counsel, because they had no training in the subject, assumed that if something wasn’t illegal, it was permissible behaviour that would have absolutely no consequence for violating it. And by doing so, they turned the individual problem of institutional officers committing improper conduct into a institutional problem where the institution willingly overlooked its institutional officers committing improper conduct.
From a policy perspective — something lawyers would know nothing about — that is infinitely worse. Having instructors that steal lunch money from their students is bad. Having an institution not care if their instructors are stealing lunch money is a completely different problem than the first.
Improper conduct is improper conduct in an institution. It’s disgusting that had my lunch money been stolen, the UBC would know what to do. But when its officers attacked my academic freedom, the academic institution of the University of British Columbia didn’t even realize it was an issue serious enough to take a complaint about.
Mark Crosbie insisted three times that the “university” of British Columbia doesn’t have to listen to harassment complaints or academic freedom violations from students. In an actual university, that would be legal malpractice. In a bunch of nice buildings at the tip of the Point Grey Peninsula located in British Columbia, it is their Standard Operating Procedure.
In 2015, the head of the Board of Governors had to step down because he had threatened a professor’s funding for having an opinion he disagreed with. But the Honourable Lynn Smith didn’t find that the UBC had infringed on the prof’s respectful environment.
I was told I didn’t deserve a respectful environment because it wasn’t legally required to be provided. Lawyers had decided they had the right to tell the UBC that not all UBC Persons were “real” UBC Persons.
The UBC didn’t need to hear anything else.