Controversy is erupting from rez all the way to the Internet.
Three University of Calgary residence community advisors were fired Fri., Jan. 12 after breaching their employment contract. The cas achieved a grade point average of less than 2.5, which is a clearly- stated requirement of the position as listed in the expectations and terms of appointment in the agreement.
Regardless, many residence students are outraged and were protesting against Residence Services and the resident life coordinators of the rez buildings involved, citing the rule is being unfairly imposed for the first time. In addition to sending hate email, a protest has been launched in the form of a potentially libelous group on Facebook.com.
The group, called "SAVE LUKE," was created on behalf of Luke Valentine, one of the cas who was fired. The group description openly bashes Kananaskis Hall's rlc and Residence Services.
"Let's quit complaining to this same incompetent management and start complaining to upper management-Weingarten, etc.," said a user in the forum. "Maybe they will open their eyes to the growing problem that Residence Management [sic] is causing the University [sic]."
Valentine expressed frustration over the move.
"I had never heard of that policy being enforced before," he said. "I support the group's idea of raising awareness about this. I didn't get to keep my job. This whole ordeal has caused me a lot of stress."
Residence Services maintains that minimum gpa requirements have always been, and will continue to be, a rule strictly enforcedfor all community advisors.
"We are very forward with the students about this rule," said Joel Lynn, director of Residence Services. "It is discussed in the training program, community advisor meetings, periodic reviews and formal evaluations. Slipping below 2.5 is often an indication that the student needs to step away from their leadership responsibilities and focus on their marks."
Lynn added that Residence Services is always supportive of students' academic achievement, and as academic role models, cas have a responsibility to keep up with their schoolwork.
The Residence Students' Association has also gotten involved in the conflict as an advocate for student voices and a moderator in the issue.
"This is a double-edged sword in many ways," said rsa president Allan Bailey. "I think we need more open discussion on the issue. It's obvious that Luke still wants his position. Luke is a good ca and he should at least have his opinion listened to."
The slighted student leaders are looking to appeal the firings and may eventually seek legal action on the issue. In the end, many students' opinions are split on the matter.
"They actually remind us of the gpa rule almost to excess," said one ca, who requested anonymity. "It's something we're all very aware of."