GSA: No to Digital Learning and Virtual Degree Show

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We, The Glasgow School of Art Mlitt postgraduate cohort of 19/20, are petitioning to gain support in favour of:

  1. A physical degree show
  2. Delaying the continuation of all studio based courses until the complete reopening of GSA

Our voices must be present in any discussions taking place now regarding the future of our programme of education.

The Mlitt programme is a 12 month practical, studio-based course running from September to September, with emphasis on workshop and studio access, tutor contact, collaboration and, most importantly, the end of year Degree Show. A Degree Show is one of the biggest incentives for entering into post-graduate education. It is essential for Mlitt students that we have access to the full range of teaching facilities during the entirety of the 12 month course, but particularly Semester 3, when we consolidate our ideas and build a body of work toward this final show. We, the students, have recently been informed by GSA that we are expected to complete the rest of our course digitally, culminating in a ‘virtual’ degree show. Every student has invested time, energy and money into their studies at GSA and this is neither the student experience we enrolled with the expectation of, nor what we paid for. With the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic an uncertainty, a more rigorous discussion must be had about the continuation of our studies. The student body must be part of this discussion, in order to ensure transparent and constructive communication between management, staff and students. We should be receiving the same opportunities as any other year group of the Mlitt course.

The continuation and resolution of each postgraduate course must centre around the specific nature of each programme. An acute awareness of individual situations regarding caring responsibilities, visa status and access to funding must be taken into account. We feel a blanket solution has been applied that suits GSA above the needs and expectations of the majority of students.

Students of GSA request to be a part of decisions being made right now about the future of our education. This includes:

  • Immediately including student representatives on decision making panels. This would ensure that the student body is given a voice and is heard by management, something that we do not feel has been happening thus far during this crisis 
  • Option of ceasing course work until the reopening of GSA studios and facilities, without which we cannot complete a studio-based course
  • Option for exiting course with refund
  • Providing a physical degree show organised by GSA at an appropriate later date

We ask to be listened to and respected in these challenging times, for GSA to share their trust and compassion in order to seek a collaborative approach as we move together through this crisis.

Yours Faithfully,

GSA Mlitt students 19/20