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Jan 27 / chief

Town Hall Meeting

About 25 students assembled today in Buchanan D 316 for the Annual Undergraduate Town Hall.

UBC History Department Undergraduate Town Hall

For those of you who have never been, the Undergraduate Town Hall is something that Daniel Vickers, our department head, has been hosting for many years. It is considered a means of opening the debate about the History program up to the students and finding out what it is that students are hoping to gain from their degrees.

While there are struggles that continue to be brought up annually (ex. course diversity, class sizes etc.) some topics that were unique to this years session involved an investigation on the effectiveness of discussions in courses and how to best go about them. Some people felt that discussion should be relegated to an online format and that class time should be reserved for lecture whereas others liked the opposite idea of having discussion homework assignments that would require students to have done their readings.

Amidst all of the serious talk there were also many lighthearted moments as Professor Vickers opened up to the students about the realities of contacting the university administration down to the intimidating nature of teaching for people who have never been taught to teach.

Finally, there were also snacks provided – which was totally a bonus!

As someone who has attended three of these now I can tell you that the profs do listen to us. At a previous town hall I had suggested that 6 credit courses needed to be shortened into two 3 credit courses instead – this was mainly to better support the idea of someone going on exchange, or doing a co-op. I can tell you I have noticed that a lot of courses are run in two separate parts which has opened up more possibilities to students whose lives cannot be entirely focused on their in-class education.

Profs that addressed student concerns (From Left: Daniel Vickers-Department Head; Glen Peterson; Coll Thrush; Arlene Sindelar)

Daniel Vickers is finishing as department head this year but I hope that his replacement will be equally as keen to encourage student participation in developing the structure of their education.


This is just what I noticed so please feel free to post other things in the comments that you found particularly important from this years town hall!

One Comment

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  1. Istarbel / Jan 27 2011

    i miss this all!

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