A quick update on a story we featured in the September-October issue of This: The threat faced by the University of Toronto’s Transitional Year Program, a special access program designed for students that do not meet the academic requirements to enter university, has been subdued, at least for now.
Here’s what happened last week:
Monday, October 21st: Faculty of Arts and Science Council meeting – at this meeting a proposal to move TYP to Woodsworth College, thereby effectively destroying the program, was postponed because discussion went over the allotted council meeting time. The meeting was well-attended by supporters of the TYP.
Wednesday, October 23: Woodsworth College Council meeting — at this meeting the principal of Woodsworth was asked to remove the motion to join TYP with Woodsworth College from the agenda. The motion was taken off the table, thereby securing the continued existence of the TYP.
According to Ryan Hayes, a TYP supporter and activist, the decision to remove the proposal was influenced by the strong support for the TYP: “Shortly before the Wednesday meeting we had become aware of a letter sent by the Provost to the director of TYP saying that in light of the opposition displayed at the meeting on Monday, and in light of a decisive vote taken by the TYP faculty (an opportunity they had not been given before), the proposal was being taken off the table indefinitely.”
So the TYP is safe for now. But as Jenn Taves, another TYP supporter and activist, told me, “The University is launching starvation tactics against the program; our budget will not grow with inflation, meaning that our capacity to serve our students, and Access and Equity as a whole, will suffer, and there is no plan to replace retiring faculty members, most notably the program director.”
Taves passionately argues that “We can’t rest now — if we do, our victory here will become a hollow one, as the program will be choked by lack of finances and faculty.”
So although a small victory has been won, the larger struggle to keep TYP viable and well-funded continues.