Sign the Petition to

St. Mary's University College Students, Past and Present

As of July 2012, a decision was made to merge the School of Theology, Philosophy and History (TPH) and the School of Communication, Culture and Creative Arts (CCCA) into a school of Arts and Humanities. We, as students, have the right and indeed the responsibility to safe-guard our education. Therefore, we must unite in challenging this unexpected plan and voice our concern over such a merger.

Despite the over-whelming opposition of faculty members from both schools, this merger is set to be implemented this coming academic year. What is even more alarming is that the student body was not consulted in any capacity. Although Principal Esler has claimed that this merger will not affect the programs, it is difficult to rationalize how it possibly could not affect student satisfaction. The appointment of a head to the proposed school of Arts and Humanities means that either the current head of CCCA, Lance Pewitt, or the head of TPH, Anthony Towey, will be dismissed from St. Mary’s, including from professorship duties. Beloved by the students, both of these men have shown exceptional resolve to shaping their school’s programs and to benefitting students. It is irrational to believe that our programs will be unaffected by losing such a dedicated senior member of staff. According to the NSS, students in TPH and CCCA programs, specifically Theology, History, and English, attained some of the highest approval ratings in the country. When something is working so efficiently, it should be a model for comparison, not treated as if it were in need of repair.

St. Mary’s was initially founded to educate impoverished Catholic children and has continuously preserved its dedication to theological studies. Although this proposal maintains the theology program and promises to foster research within the subject, it can be viewed as demoting the distinguished Catholic ethos of the university. Grouping theological and religious studies into a school with nine other ‘art and humanity’ programs is most often seen in secular institutions. St. Mary’s proudly boasts of being ‘where the Church comes to learn’, and therefore, the division between theology and other subjects is far from accidental and should remain as such.

We, as students, must raise our voices together to stop this merger and to protect our programs.

Signed,

Heather Kuhlman

This petition closed over 3 years ago

How this will help

To preserve the integrity of St. Mary's University College.

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