Students sing MRC’s praises to AUCC committee
by Alan Mattson
Students gathered in Wyckham House Jan. 29 to tell the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) visiting committee about their experiences at Mount Royal in the hopes of gaining membership.
Membership in the AUCC is a key step on the road to Mount Royal University, and will ensure that the school’s new university-level degrees are recognized throughout Canada and the world.
“You already are a university,” explained Jack Lightstone, the president of Brock University and the chair of the visiting committee. The Campus Alberta Quality Council has said Mount Royal is already up to a university standard.
The committee — which also included Roseann O’Reilly Runte, the president of Carleton University, and Yvon Fontaine, the rector and vice chancellor of the Université de Moncton — asked questions of the group of students and graduates.
Almost every student praised Mount Royal’s student-focused curriculum, including small class sizes and plenty of one-on-one time with instructors.
Alex Large, a third-year history student, is doing research work on Mount Royal’s holocaust education program.
“It gives that extra knowledge to pursue more in our programs rather than just sitting back, doing our courses and getting our degrees,” Large said. He also told the committee he lives in a house with three University of Calgary students, and they envy his experience at Mount Royal.
When asked by the committee, many of the students revealed they are planning to pursue graduate studies after getting a degree here. This means they have a strong interest in Mount Royal gaining AUCC membership.
Runte asked the students whether they felt they have grown as a result of their time at Mount Royal. One nursing student began crying as she recounted how much the school means to her.
Liz McKeown, VP student life for the Students’ Association of Mount Royal College, said in high school she didn’t care about getting involved with issues. Now, she has been involved in student politics and issues for years.
“I would not be the person I am today without Mount Royal College,” she said.
The students were asked what they would say to Mount Royal President Dave Marshall if he were standing in the room — if there was anything they wanted to see improved.
A student mentioned that honours degrees are not offered at Mount Royal, although they are in the works. SAMRC President Travis McIntosh mentioned there is a lack of culture at Mount Royal, calling it a “daytime campus.”
“It gives that extra knowledge to pursue more in our programs rather than just sitting back, doing our courses and getting our degrees,” Alex Large, third-year history student.
An international student from Mexico — who has to pay about three times the tuition of a normal student — told the committee he would like to see more opportunities for international students, including scholarships.