On Wednesday, June 9th the Co-op Education Council (CEC) met to discuss, amongst other things, a proposal by Arnie Dyck, the Math Faculty's Associate Dean of Co-oprative Studies. The proposal is to change policy to require co-op students to remain in the co-op program after their 3rd work term.
Several rationales were presented: first, the current policy as written requires co-op students to remain in co-op for their entire career. This is ridiculous, and administrators have recognized it as such, it has never been enforced in practice. The new policy, lacking this precedent, would be strictly enforceable, placing a pressure on upper year students wishing to leave the program to earn a dishonorable discharge. Further discussion cited promises the University made to employers to deliver some number of upper year students and a fear that students exiting the co-op program would continue to occupy positions that would otherwise be offered within the co-op system.
The CEC decided to send the Associate Deans, Co-op of each faculty to seek approval of the idea from their respective faculty councils. This was despite the cries of students that the idea amounts to indentured servitude.
by Charlie Chaplain