French Department says non
VUWSA says oui oui
VUWSA is keeping their eye on Victoria University after students were advised they should withdraw from a course they were entitled to take.
VUWSA President Max Hardy told Salient that students who had enrolled and had their fees paid for FREN112 were told in their second tutorial that they had to drop out of the course.
Salient understands the students were told they were not able to complete the beginners course because they had completed NCEA level 1 French—one student having completed it over four years prior.
“There are no restrictions or course requirements listed for this paper, yet they were told they were not able to continue in FREN112,” Hardy says.
Online information for the course on the Victoria University website clearly states “Restrictions: None”.
One student received conflicting information in an email from a senior department member, saying there were restrictions on entry to the course.
“If you had [discussed course entry] I would have been able to confirm in simple terms the particular restrictions placed on enrolments in FREN112.”
The French language course structure allows students to skip course requirements should they wish to. However, it does not state that students must take this course of action.
After students went to VUWSA with their concerns, VUWSA acted as the students’ advocate and had them enrolled back in the paper.
The department member went on to say the students’ actions in complaining about the directive to withdraw from the course were “reprehensible”.
“…Treating the situation as one of injustice to yourself, rather than one that relates to maintaining high standards in the classroom and a positive learning attitude amongst your fellow students is reprehensible.”
Hardy is concerned that other students may have encountered negative situations and not contacted VUWSA for advocacy support.
“Lecturers can be intimidating for first years.
“Students should always come to VUWSA with their concerns so that we can give them advice and support if required.
“This French situation is an example of the importance of independent advocacy.”
Victoria University declined to comment on issues relating to specific students.
Students who think require advice or advocacy support should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.