#SaveUFV Petition Goes Viral

Updated 10/02/15 by Jack Brown: The #SaveUFV petition has reached over 300 signatures over the weekend, and momentum to save the Writing Centre continues to grow.

“The response to #SaveUFV’s campaign to save the Writing Centre has been overwhelming,” said Jack Brown, chair of the #SaveUFV campaign coordinating committee. “Students, alumni, and concerned community members are speaking with one voice, and they are saying Save our Writing Centre!”

The UFV administration continues to spread misinformation about the closure. Last week, UFV issued a statement claiming that the Writing Centre was being “expanded,” not closed. The statement continues to remain up on the student login page myUFV and no correction for this obvious error has been forthcoming from Jody Gordon, VP of Students. Ms. Gordon is the senior administrator responsible for UFV’s Writing Centre.

“To continue to stand behind a statement that is full of misinformation and wrong on the facts is frankly puzzling,” said Jack Brown. “We know the Writing Centre is closing; all of the faculty have already been informed of their new positions in the College of Arts, the name for the ‘replacement’ peer mentoring program has been announced, and UFV is already promoting a new start date for the program.”

To counter this misinformation, #SaveUFV has created a new frequently asked questions page on its website to answer the administration’s spin. Anyone can read it at www.saveufv.ca/faq

“#SaveUFV has been transparent from the beginning. The fact that UFV continues to promote spin and half-truths to students and alumni is just plain wrong. UFV needs to acknowledge these errors, and take down its misleading statement,” said Jack Brown.

#SaveUFV continues to expand its campaign to save UFV’s Writing Centre, widely acknowledged as the best writing centre in Canada. Students, alumni, and concerned community members can sign the petition to keep the Writing Centre at saveufv.ca/petition. They can also write to Dr. Mark Evered, president of UFV via email and Abbotsford MLA and finance minister Mike de Jong.
By Jack Brown. After only 18 hours online, the #SaveUFV petition to save UFV’s writing centre has reached over 200 signatures.

“The immediate and overwhelming response from students and alumni tell the story: Vice-president Jody Gordon’s decision to close the writing centre is the wrong one. This petition to save the best writing centre in Canada has gone viral, and it’s time for the UFV administration to acknowledge they made an error and reverse their wrong-headed decision,” said Jack Brown, UFV alumnus and organizer of the #SaveUFV campaign.

Last week, word began to spread that Jody Gordon, vice president of students, and the rest of the senior administration of the University of the Fraser Valley had decided to close down the best writing centre in Canada and replace the professional writing instructors with a peer mentoring program that would pay unqualified undergraduate students $15/hour.

Universities in British Columbia have been facing a tough fiscal situation lately, with a sector-wide $50 million cut the provincial government mandated in 2012, which was to be phased in over three years. In its budget documents, the government emphasized that savings were to come from “discretionary spending, administration, and other efficiencies while protecting core educational services.” (p. 20, Budget and Fiscal Plan 2013/14 – 2014/15)

“Jody Gordon’s decision to shut down the writing centre violates the provincial government mandate to protect core educational services and robs all students – but especially international students – of the supports they need to become better writers and citizens,” said Jack Brown. “With all due respect to Ms. Gordon, unqualified undergrads with no credentials cannot hold a candle to seasoned, hard-working professional writing instructors with Master’s degrees and PhDs.”

The #SaveUFV campaign to save the writing centre is asking university president Dr. Mark Evered to reverse the decision to shut down the writing centre before its proposed closure on March 31st. A rally has been set for Wednesday, February 25th at 11:30 a.m. in front of the writing centre on the Abbotsford campus to give students, alumni, and all concerned members of the community an opportunity to support the writing centre and deliver the petition to UFV senior administration.

“If you are a student, if you are an alumni, if you are a concerned member of the community and you think that our university should keep the writing centre and abide by the government mandate to protect core educational services, sign the petition at saveufv.ca/petition and write to Abbotsford MLA Mike de Jong. UFV is our university. It’s a precious thing, and we have to protect it and the services it offers to all people in the Fraser Valley,” said Jack Brown.

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