Entire international students' community back ISA and Presidents' of 9 regional student associations have released support statements.
“A lot of students need to get up at mid-night to attend courses, seminars and labs, with eight-hour time differences. We feel that studying in such a way is harmful to our physical and mental well-being, and makes it more difficult for us to obtain achievements in those courses we are attending. So we hope that the university can make arrangements regarding this issue to ease our struggles, and make the opportunity for every student in U of A to obtain knowledge and make progress as fair as possible. "
- Kevin Tang,
President of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association
“The University of Alberta’s Black Students’ Association stands behind the International Students’ Association in their open letter to the University of Alberta. We at the UABSA are committed to helping the international black identifying students at the University of Alberta, this includes advocating for students to have equal access to their classes. We understand that this time has been stressful and challenging for all however, that does not take away the fact that each and every student should have equal access to attending lectures and seminars even if they are in a different time zone. For this reason, the UABSA stands behind the recommendation to make it a priority for professors to record their lectures for international students.”
-Celine Caruso Dixon
President of the Black Students’ Association
"As the president of the Indian Students’ Association, It is extremely sad to see students who are currently abroad, go through so much, than the rest of us during these tough times especially on factors that are accommodable. Research has shown that sleep loss leads to learning and memory impairment, as well as decreased attention and vigilance, which can eventually lead to low grades and potentially lead them into a negative feedback loop. Considering the long-term consequences of our actions right now, I would like to appeal for providing the students with flexibility, in the terms of recorded lectures and to forgo participation grades to ease their burden. I sincerely hope that the university will reconsider its decision and make this a norm to support its students."
President of the Indian Students’ Association
“International students are at a disadvantage in this new online environment with mandatory
live lectures, having to wake up at irregular hours to receive marks for their classes. As the
university strives to create an environment with EDI at the forefront, it is crucial that recorded
lectures are available to students across the globe. To create equity in our learning, it is
essential that these recordings are provided to students."
-Nicole de Grano & Rupert Gomez
Co-Presidents of the Philippine Students’ Association
“The university experience makes a great difference in nourishing one's personality, in the times we are living in I believe the International Student Community is already at a great disadvantage and going through enough stress, so not providing the International students with proper resources such as recorded lectures is just setting them up for failure. I cannot stress this enough,I do strongly support the ISA for taking the initiative and bringing this matter to the responsible personnel, and would like to see the University take proper actions to address this issue.”
President of the Pakistani Students' Association
“Vietnam is 14 hours ahead of the MST time zone, forcing many of our international Vietnamese students to attend classes anywhere from 10PM to 5AM. A lot of homes in Vietnam are small, and oftentimes study and bedroom spaces are shared with other family members. It is incredibly hard for students to wake up to attend live lectures in the middle of the night while also trying to be considerate to their family.”
President of the Vietnamese Student's Association
“Through these dynamic times, it is important to understand how decisions made can affect students, both locally and internationally. Adapting to the intersect between recent changes in education and the current global circumstance can already be a task of its own, however introducing new obstacles to those who live in different time zones can be overbearing. It is essential to recognize the needs of students and offer a fair system in which education prosperity can be achieved. Not only can these changes prove to be beneficial to the academic success of students, but also to their mental health. ”
President of the Eritrean & Ethiopian Students' Association
“Some professors refuse to record lectures on the basis of “encouraging students to attend live lectures to not miss anything behind.” I believe that this is unreasonable and discriminatory against international students who are not currently residing in Canada due to time difference. This is a trying time for all of us, educators and students, but we do hope that in order for students to study and for educators to instruct optimally, recorded lectures, more diverse availability times for office hours and banning participation grades will be the most beneficial solution to both students and educators.”
- Salsabila Natasha Andhika Putri
President of the Indonesian Students’ Association
"The Nigerian Students' Association at the University of Alberta is committed to ensuring that Nigerian students enjoy a rich and fulfilling learning experience. The presentation of lectures and exams in a synchronous manner places a vast disadvantage to students residing outside of Canada. While we recognize the need to ensure academic integrity, it is also crucial to ensure academic fairness. Requiring students to attend lectures or write examinations at really late hours is far from equality, in our opinion. It is vital to have all classes recorded and available to be watched at the students' earliest convenience. We strongly urge the University of Alberta's Administration to consider this request in preparation for Winter 2020 and upcoming semesters hosted virtually.
President of the Nigerian Students' Association