Lobby the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to Award a Posthumous Degree
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Lesley Charman, a student at UWTSD on the Lampeter Campus was in her final year, having come to study later in life through the Gateway Access course path. Despite not having the necessary qualifications for direct entry she worked very hard and managed to secure First class marks for every module in her second year. She was on the path for a first, without a doubt.
In October 2017 Lesley was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer midterm after suffering back pain. Shockingly about 40 days later she was dead leaving 2 sons on the 03rd Jan 2018. Her peers loved her and she helped them enormously. She volunteered, was close with the SU, was one of our PASS leaders and contributed to lots of other campus activities. She is already terribly missed, and nearly all the level 6 students on this small campus are somewhat in shock.
In light of this tragic event, a gesture to show the finalists left behind at level 6 and the student body as a whole, was suggested by her closest tutors and friends to show how much the uni values its students would be heartening. and to achieve some closure at graduation. It was suggested that perhaps Lesley could receive a posthumous degree, which those closest to her thought was a wonderful idea - something that would demonstrate how much UWTSD cares for both the student body generally and her family particularly (especially for her sons who watched how hard she worked and loved being at Uni). To graduate with a degree was Lesley's dream and it is nearly unbearable that it was ripped away from her so abruptly.
Unfortunately, after a brief discussion with UWTSD the 75% completion rule was highlighted. As Lesley did not manage to submit much work last term due to her pain, the university regrettably rejected the idea on the grounds that she had not met the criteria, despite Lesley completing 66% of her studies. Just 9% short.
A special cases form was proposed and submitted through the proper and official channels and last week the special cases committee rejected giving Lesley a Posthumous degree allowing her to graduate with the rest of her class.
This petition follows due to the sense that UWTSD has failed to listen to Lesley's classmates and even after all the proper channels were followed, a posthumous degree has been denied. This leaves Lesley's friends and classmates the only option of petitioning and making some noise about the injustice of 'box-ticking criteria' and very little compassion being shown in the circumstances.
The aim of this petition is to show UWTSD that honoring Lesley Charman with a posthumous degree not only shows that the university cares about its students, but will also show the wider and local community of Lampeter how it is a compassionate institution. On the day of graduation for the current level 6 finalists this day should be full of celebration and remembrance for a friend and classmate lost, not a day of sadness and resentment towards UWTSD.
'At UWTSD students are truly recognized by their name and not their number' cites the uni's website for Lampeter. At the moment this feels very far from the truth.(http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/visitus/lampeter-open-day-programme/
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