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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 16, July 12, 1976.



On Monday 5th July, the students of Sosc 301 felt that they could no longer remain silent on their grievances about the way the course was being taught.

Once the first lecture was over, the student reps told the lecturer about the frustration they felt at the last Cirricullum Committee meeting. They were upset and voiced their disatisfaction at the student rep set-up, especially the difficulties found with getting wide-spread student opinion.

Then the subject of the Sosc 301 course was raised and almost immediately a lecture hall of docile and bored students became effervescent. The criticism of the course was widespread among class members and the criticisms were specific in nearly all cases. Among the criticisms voiced were:-
  • The course was superficial to an extreme
  • the work load was too high for such a course (6 credits)
  • the content beared little relation to the real world or indeed sociology
  • Practical work was often rejected although it was made clear that handing the work in was the only requirement
  • The lectures were unrelated to the practicals.
  • The presentation of much of the teaching was substandard and the content was badly thought out and hazy (to put it mildly).
  • Lecturers were seemingly not aware of what each other was doing
  • No-one, staff or students, was really sure of the aims and purposes of the course and this was reflected in the aimless nature of the course up till the present time.

The students were free-ranging and scathing in their criticisms because all the lecturers had left and the second lecture had been cancelled. The session lasted just under an hour and gave a large number of students who had not spoken at any time during the year, an opportunity to give vent to their feelings about the course.

By the end of the meeting, a list of demands were drawn up to be presented to the staff. These were:-
1.That the curricullum committee attend the next lecture and explain specifically the aims and purposes of the course and it's place in the course structure of the department.
2.That the work-loading of the course be substantially reduced.

The students voted to boycott classes if these demands were not met. Since then the reps have had discussion with the department and apparently a greater understanding of the problems has been achieved by both sides.

Nevertheless, this incident shows the power that students can muster if they are genuinely dissatisfied.

All Sosc 301 students are vigourously urged to attend a crucial meeting to formulate changes in this course. It will take place in LB2 at 1.10pm Monday 12 July