The Dawson Student Union`s Executive Committee unanimously decided at its regular meeting to position itself against holding in-person final exams at Dawson College. We believe that this would undermine the performance of certain students and would effectively put them in harm’s way. It is essential to understand that having in-person exams will still increase the risk for students to contract COVID-19, even if safety measures were to be put in place.
For the past week, we have watched as daily cases have risen both in Quebec and Canada above levels previously witnessed in Spring 2020. The situation greatly alarms our organization, and as representatives of the Dawson student body, we believe it is our duty to voice these concerns to the administration. We have formally reached out to the College to express our concerns and request a specific course of action. While our board believes that it is paramount to limit exposure and halt all plans for in-person exams, we understand that this issue is very contentious. That is why we have asked that the College survey students concerned with these in-person evaluations so that a decision can be made based on the will of our members. We have also requested that the College not hold exams in-person unless there is a resounding majority of students favoring such a course of action. We have a meeting scheduled next week with Dawson`s academic Dean, Diane Gauvin, to discuss these concerns and our specific position on this issue.
The students must be heard on this crucial matter: our body`s health and safety should all be our number one concern. Finals are already a stressful time for students, and we believe that having to be in a room with other students can augment the stress to many of the student population. While we understand that some students and faculty may be concerned with academic integrity, this cannot outweigh in any way the risk of contracting the virus. These are challenging times, and we understand that difficult decisions must be taken; however, we believe that the arguments supporting the transition to online exams are more than substantial. We will keep our student members informed of any further developments.
Kevin Contant-Holowatyj (Chairperson)
Alexandrah Cardona (Deputy Chairperson)
Noah Lemaire (Treasurer)
Leana Ramirez (Director of Internal Affairs and Advocacy)
Valeria Sygal (Director of External Affairs)
Amélie Chornet (Director of Clubs and Services)
Nicole Vega Rivas (Director of Student Life)
Sarah Bensemana (Director of Sustainability)
Danahé Orduna Martinez (Director of Mobilization and Communication)