Monday, February 16, 2009

Dear American University administration,

You know...if I'd known you were this bureaucratic and protective from the outset, I probably would have gone somewhere else. I'm sure all universities are guilty of this, but because I'm having to put up with you, it's you that I'm going to gripe about.

Response from my international adviser regarding extending my stay at Mt. A: "
AU only has a relationship with Mt. Allison through Killam. If you were to stay, you would have to apply for a permit to leave AU, and enroll directly at Mt. Allison as a visiting student, and pay your tuition and fees there. As you would be taking a leave of absence here, you would not be eligible to receive an AU based financial aid. There is a process to do all of this, so let me know if you want to pursue it."

OK...c'mon. It's an undergraduate education. I'd be graduating from you either way. Why must you be so difficult to deal with? Why must you be a giant corporation?

On a similar note, goooo Housing and Dining for wanting to install extra security measures in the residence halls. I'm willing to bet a lot of money (say...the amount they're going to waste on the installation of these systems) that they're doing this for 1) image and 2) the parents who send their precious babies off to university in the middle of a scary city (for those of you who haven't seen AU, the campus is extremely suburban--yes, there have been security issues in the surrounding town, but those have to be dealt with by the MPD). Because students might be sneaking into residence halls to, oh, I don't know, go see their significant others without them having to walk six floors down to "claim" them. How horrid!

This is coming from the same university that spent God knows how much for Public Safety scooters--I spoke to an officer once who got banned from his scooter for doing wheelies. You know why he was doing wheelies? Because he was bored. My best joke on tours of your campus involves point out how silly they look whizzing around campus with their bike helmets. Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention to the police blotter in the Eagle.

This is why I pay $30,000 a year. In tuition costs alone. (I hear the resounding "But you're getting a good education!" cries in the distance--I would like to point out that international costs for Mt. A are 13,000 a year and I have classes with some of the foremost Canadian Studies academics in the country) I'm fairly certain that a large chunk of this is also going to the ridiculously high costs of catering for the "Strategic Plan" meetings that I keep getting emails about. Sure, as a student, I could have been attending these meetings--where they're discussing how to best update the website (among other things, but I'm choosing to point out that one because it strikes me as the most pointless). Here at Mt. A, they had a student-run forum on how the campus and its students can be more environmentally friendly/efficient/non-destructive...I couldn't go to that, either; I had rehearsal. I know there's a sort of lack-of-legitimacy critique for someone who complains about things she hasn't been to, and the issues will vary between universities...but...c'mon. Really?

I don't miss you, American University administration.


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