higher education

39 petitions

This petition won 2 months ago

Petition to Dr. Nadea Nazarenko, Buck Gilcrease Ed.D.

Detrimental Grading Practices

Students are failing classes on all levels of education because some teachers and professors are not grading assignments, quizzes, tests, and returning the results to students in a timely manner. Some students are not fully grasping material and are not aware because they are not getting the appropriate feedback in classes. Thus many students fail or get low grades. Students are forced to waste valuable time retaking classes and have this unwarranted failure listed on their academic records for eternity because they were victims of an educator’s procrastination and lack of interest in their academic success. This goes against the very reason students attend school in the first place. The overall goal of school in general is to achieve the highest level of education possible and position individuals for success. Some colleges and universities have a policy of “Higher Tuition Charged for Third Attempt Classes”. This means if a student fails to successfully complete a class twice they will be charged more for the class the third time. Students seeking to obtain high level degrees that fall victim to ineffective grade practices are ultimately unfairly charged more money to repeat classes they probably would not have failed had they received grades as the class progressed. It is completely unfair to hold students accountable for repeated failures but not hold educators accountable for doing the basics of grading and returning work in a timely manner. If you or someone you know has suffered this injustice and undue educational setback, sign this petition and pass it on. The goal of this petition is to give insight to Teachers, Counselors, Principals, School Boards, Superintendents, Professors, Academic Advisors, Deans, and College and University Presidents that the people they teach are affected by their practices for the rest of their lives. Students progress at different rates and should not run the risk of failure due to and educators inability to monitor their progress effectively. If this does not invoke change, then contacting state representatives and making demands for proposed legislation in this matter are the next steps.

Kameka Williams
87 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Meric Gertler

University of Toronto staff ignored warnings in student death. Hold them accountable.

On Tues, Nov 14, 2017, faculty of the graduate division of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto, St George campus, received warning that an accomplished 37 year old international grad student in their department, who will be identified as Lisa (not her real name), with a known history of chronic acute illness and hospitalizations, was ill and in need of help. Lisa was working on her second PhD, had ten years university teaching experience, a long list of publications to her name, was widely traveled, and was loved and cherished by her family abroad, and her partner in the USA with whom she was on a waiting list for campus family housing. The warning on Nov 14 is known to have been received by at least two, and probably three, faculty and administrators of the Centre. All told, possibly six faculty and staff of the university, including crisis office staffers, would have been aware of what was happening from multiple sources beginning Nov 13, if not earlier. After more than a year of warnings and multiple emergencies requiring medical intervention, not a single staffer or faculty of the university who was aware of this situation can honestly say they didn't understand what was happening, or the dangers of it. Additionally, five roommates, all students of the university and also familiar with Lisa's condition, were aware of her illness by Nov 12, which they knew worsened on the evening of Nov 13. On Nov 14, instead of getting help, some of them complained to the landlord, who was also aware of the situation, that Lisa had kept them awake. A major Toronto hospital is one block from the residence, and visible from the front yard. Lisa was a wonderful, giving, and selfless person, who believed the world could be made better through small acts of kindness for people and animals everywhere she went. If any of these 12 individuals who knew that Lisa was ill had needed help themselves, Lisa would have been the first to stop everything and get it for them. She wouldn't have spent the afternoon debating the legal expediency of it, waited for someone else to do it, or complained to the landlord. No action was taken on the warning about Lisa's illness. Two days later, her partner who had driven two days from the USA to get help for her, and her family abroad, were being informed by the Toronto police of her death. The authorities have not been forthcoming with information, but based on what is known, her death is believed to have occurred on the evening on Nov 14, the day the warning was given. Lisa's death was entirely avoidable. Had she received medical treatment, she would have made a full recovery within days. Her loss, and the circumstances under which it occurred, has been a nightmare for those who cared about her. Given the failure of the University to respond to this tragedy in an open and honest manner, and seven months on, this petition calls on the faculty and staff involved to immediately resign their positions, or failing this, for the University of Toronto to issue formal reprimands and end their employment. These individuals include three faculty and administrators of the graduate division of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, whose names will be known, including her academic advisor, in addition to the following individuals: a university "wellness office" / CAMH staffer who was involved with Lisa from September 2017, a crisis office staffer assigned to Lisa from Sept 2016, her university medical doctor, and a university psychiatrist to whom she was assigned. While a public petition is not the place to go into lengthy details, anyone familiar with them can only conclude that each of these individuals displayed considerable incompetence and negligence, together with unconscionable lapses of judgement, that directly contributed to the circumstances in which Lisa died. These individuals were quite simply not qualified to do their jobs, or to work with students with Lisa's needs. Following a meeting with one of these individuals in Sept 2017, Lisa reported that she was told to end her relationship with her partner (with whom she tended to be safe and well), marry someone else, have children, and that would solve her problems. After her partner was wedged out of the scene at the end of the month, the individual who made the remark completely failed in his professional responsibilities. According to Lisa herself, she wouldn't even have been in Toronto in 2017 had it not been for the sole insistence of her academic advisor, and the acquiescence of a senior administrator. Neither of these individuals can honestly say they didn't understand the risks, or that they didn't understand the warning on Nov 14. This same advisor signed off on Lisa having three times the work load, by her own estimate (likely more), than had been agreed to in a meeting in Nov 2016. In addition to these individuals are the five student roommates of Lisa, who were familiar with her condition, knew she was ill, and didn't get help for her. There are lesser offenses than negligence in the death of a student that are punishable by expulsion. Following Lisa's death, individuals known to be assigned by the university to liaise with the police refused to cooperate with individuals assisting the family to have her repatriated, and even denied knowledge of her death. Due to these obstructions, Lisa was not returned home until two months after her death, causing exceptional distress for her devout family, who had to finance the repatriation themselves due the university's refusal to make available information for the insurance that should have covered the cost. This petition also calls on the University of Toronto to educate faculty and staff in their moral and legal obligations to assist students whom they know to be in need of help. When presented with numerous warnings for more than a year about Lisa's condition, or approached by Lisa herself, staffers and faculty cited in this petition are known to have responded variously by laughter in at least two instances, and more often, by refusal to discuss what was happening or to get involved. They didn't want to know, and when it was impossible not to know, they pretended not to know. On Nov 14, 2017, they literally turned their backs and acted out of legal expediency for themselves and the university, rather than doing what was right for a student in need of help. To the University of Toronto, we ask, what good are your faculty's Oxbridge and Ivy League degrees if you're not worth dog sh-t as people, or if your medical staffers are incompetent? Each of you connected with this tragedy are a disgrace to your profession, and none of you should be allowed anywhere near students. To our knowledge, these individuals all remain in positions where their incompetence, selfishness, and complete lack of conscience continues to put at risk the lives of University of Toronto students, and the most vulnerable among them. Despite their knowledge of Lisa's condition, they wanted her there for her scholarship, which mattered more to them than her life, and they completely failed to ensure she had the protections and help she needed. Despite being a PhD student with a prestigious scholarship, known serious health issues, and a guest in a country she had little to no familiarity with, Lisa was forced to live off campus following the rejection of four applications for campus housing, left to call her her own ambulance, and literally left for dead when she couldn't. This is morally criminal. No apology is sufficient. There needs to be a discussion - about why five University of Toronto staff and faculty are in academia working with students, about why two doctors are practicing medicine, and about why five students roommates and a landlord, together with the others, think that it's acceptable to let someone lay in a bed and die, one block from a major hospital. There needs to be a discussion about why the authorities and the media think it's acceptable to look the other way. In addition, there must be a public inquiry into student mortality at the University of Toronto, both on and off campus. Lisa was not someone who sought attention, nor would she want it now, but for the sake of her memory, for everyone who has asked about her death, and for anyone who has a loved one at the University of Toronto - for the sake of justice, however inadequate to the loss - this is a story that must be told. As an international university with large numbers of students from Europe, the USA, South America, and China, families who have loved ones at the University of Toronto need to understand the risks if their daughter, son, or spouse has an emergency and needs help - not only of negligence by a university with no public accountability, but also of a broken Toronto healthcare system that turns ill patients out onto the street in middle of the night with little or no treatment, another hardship that Lisa repeatedly faced there. As non-citizens, these international students and their families will be even more vulnerable, as Lisa's death has sadly proven. Everyone will be protected, except the victim. All students of the University of Toronto, their families and loved ones, and the survivors of those like Lisa whose lives have been lost, deserve better. Our stories will not be silenced. When a student dies, the individuals responsible, whether through ignorance, incompetence, or negligence, and the institutions that harbor them, must be held to account. The death of a student must not be swept under the rug as if it never happened. Additional details on these matters will be provided upon request to persons and families with a bona fide interest:

Brad Hawks
286 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, marty meehan, Robert Manning

Fund the William Joiner Institute, Keep Your Promise to Veterans

Since 1982 the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences has served veterans, refugees, and their families whose lives have been scarred by war. Its groundbreaking programs of research, teaching, advocacy, international educational and cultural exchange, and art programming have received recognition locally, nationally, and internationally. The Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Boston Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, International Research Exchange (IREX), Mass Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have all supported their programs. Now, however, suddenly, the Institute faces the prospect of extinction, a casualty of the budget crisis at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where systemic problems have led to severe cutbacks that threaten the urban mission of the university. Early in its history the Institute received funding from the Commonwealth through a discreet line item in the state budget. Later, the Institute’s budget was folded into the university’s budget with an agreement that it would absorb cuts and increases in the same proportions as the campus’s budget overall. Over time that agreement was slowly eroded. This past week, the university presented the Institute with a budget that would reduce staff levels from the 2017 level of 5.5 positions to 1.5 beginning July 1st, 2018. No position would be full-time. The director position would be funded at 80% time, an administrative assistant at 45% time, and a project coordinator at 30% time. Over the next years, the university will continue to withdraw state supported funding from the Joiner to practically zero. We believe these cuts to the Joiner Institute to be extreme, disproportionate, and inequitable, a betrayal of the university and the Commonwealth’s commitment to veterans and their families and a truly backward step in a community’s much needed efforts to generate useful research, scholarship, teaching and programming addressing the continuing impacts of war and violence. We ask: - At a time when an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide each day, - At a time when veterans of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan become ill and die each day from exposures to toxins, - At a time when the gap in the experiences and understanding between military and civilians is growing wider and wider, - At a time when the United States is involved in conflicts around the world and operates bases on most every continent, with annual budgets amounting to billions to operate them, often receiving little oversight, - At a time when the structure of our largest system of health care delivery and the source of services for millions of veterans around the country is being threatened by underfunding and moves toward privatization, - At time when each day nuclear war seems less and less impossible, Why are we eliminating support for a unique Institute founded by veterans that seeks to examine the social and health consequences of war and ways to address these issues and bring veterans, refugees, and citizens together in dialogue? For thirty-five years the Joiner Institute as an integral part of UMass Boston has been saving lives, educating citizens, serving veterans, and mentoring them into leadership positions. We believe that veterans are more than the dollars their GI Bills bring to university coffers, seeing them not as consumers, but as contributors and creators. In the most immediate future, these funding cuts will impact our annual Writers' Workshop (now in its 31st year), our "Humanizing How We Teach about War and Violent Conflict" High School Teachers Workshop, our Music Therapy programs for veterans, our research into the health effects of the Iraq War, our collaborative and creative exchanges with the countries of Iraq and Vietnam, as well as numerous other programs such as our Speaker Series, translation projects, veterans outreach support programs, which address the long term impacts of war and the possibilities of healing, reconciliation, and the transformation of trauma and conflict through creative arts. We ask that you sign our petition to demand restoration of full funding for the Joiner Institute to continue its ongoing mission to address the social and health consequences of war through research, education, advocacy, and outreach support. Our Joiner friends, supporters, and members have always been our greatest asset as an organization and we owe our existence and ongoing programs to the tireless work and support of so many from our community. Whether you attended a Writers' Workshop, a lecture, were part of our veterans’ support programs, fought for recognition of the devastation of Agent Orange on veterans’ lives, or have contributed a financial donation, we owe our legacy and public work to you. We ask again for your support to keep the legacy of the Joiner Institute alive and thriving. In an era of continued violence, wars that seem never ending, in times of dramatic increases in refugees fleeing from war torn countries, the work of the Joiner Institute is as vital as ever and even more needed. Please sign your name, leave a comment, share this campaign, call your local senator, representative, or the president of the UMass System to share your support for the continued work of the Joiner Institute and for its future. We are grateful for your support and advocacy. We will be planning more actions in the coming days and weeks so stay tuned.   Sincerely, The Staff of the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences Thomas T. Kane, PhD, DirectorKevin Bowen, Former Director and FounderPaul Atwood, Founding Co-Director 1982-85, Interim Director, 2011-14Nguyen Ba Chung, Research FellowMitch Manning, Program CoordinatorPatrick McCormack, Business Manager

Joiner Institute
4,351 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Loyola University Chicago Administration

Support our LUC non-tenure track faculty on April 4th!

After almost 2 years of negotiations with Loyola administration, the non-tenure track faculty union here at Loyola (comprised of adjuncts, lecturers, and other non-tenure track faculty) announced on Friday that they have voted to authorize a 1 day strike on Wednesday, April 4th if they are not able to agree on a contract by that date.  As educators, we have committed ourselves to providing the high quality Jesuit education our students deserve. The working and living conditions of our NTT and adjunct faculty impact the learning conditions of Loyola students. It is our responsibility to our colleagues in higher education, and it is also in the best interests of our students to ensure that our NTT and adjunct faculty receive the wages and benefits they have been negotiating for. If the strike goes forward, I commit to do at least one of the following: Attend the university-wide rally on April 4th at 12:00 PM (1032 W Sheridan Rd) Join NTT and adjunct faculty at the picket line Not cross the picket line Cancel any classes or discussion sections I teach on Wednesday, April 4th Refuse to attend class Ask professors in my department to cancel class Talk to my colleagues about how they will participate in the strike As grad student workers, we will stand in solidarity with our non-tenure track and adjunct faculty and demand that the university recognize our rights as workers by meeting us at the bargaining table and negotiating a contract with graduate student workers. Furthermore, as a democratically elected, legally-recognized union, it is our right to demand the working conditions we deserve. No matter what school, program, career track, or degree type, we are all in this together.

Yiran Zhang
60 supporters