This Winter 2017 semester has seen unprecedented action on the part of the Queen’s Dean of Engineering. She has been acclaimed by many for her energy and her relentlessness, while condemned by some for her innovative ideas. However, it is undisputable that unlike many previous Deans, she has accomplished what she has said she would when she was campaigning to become Dean of Engineering, and much more.
One of her greatest achievements was her executive order to stop letting people who can’t read into the Engineering faculty, which came into effect on January 27,2017. Dean Woodhouse called for “a total and complete shutdown of illiterates entering the Queen’s Engineering Department until the department’s representatives can figure what the hell is going on” with the student’s GPAs.
This decision was widely criticized on the basis that everyone should be let into Engineering, regardless of their ability to read. Some event went as far as saying that young people should be admitted into engineering regardless of their ability to write, or to pass grade 9 applied math. There were protests all over the Queen’s University campus, and even at airports around Canada. The Engineering admissions website was down for two weeks, supposedly “being renovated”, but suspected to have been hacked. No comment from Queen’s University on this matter. This executive order led many to question: “Is this an ‘illiterate’ ban? Is this a direct attack to those who can’t read? How far will this go?” Dean Woodhouse has responded saying that the ban is not about discrimination, but about IQ and keeping the Engineering program prestigious. Some praise this action and are happy that the “unworthy” will be kept out, while others worry that this will lead to even more radical decisions on Dean Woodhouse’s part.
It is important to note that this is not the Dean’s first rigorous move. This latest executive order has overshadowed the one signed on January 25th, the Queen’s Engineering “Build A Wall Around The ILC” statement. This has already commenced, as students can observe from across the street of the ILC, where extensive construction is happening and where tall titanium fences have already been partially installed. It is expected that RMC Engineering students will be appointed to enforce security around the perimeter in the next few weeks. When justifying how the wall and security measures would be funded, the Dean has said that illiterate people will repay the Engineering Department by paying an extra tax fee to apply to other programs at Queen’s University, which will be immediately processed to the Engineering Department.
Dean Woodhouse has also taken measures to cut the budget of the Engineering Department on matters she states are unnecessary. Funding to technical clubs relating to new technologies, and environmentally friendly science, including the Queen’s Fuel Cell Team, Engineers Without Borders, and Queen’s Energy and Commodities Association, have been cut. The following conferences have been cancelled indefinitely: The Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference, the Conference on Industry and Resources, the Global Innovation Conference, and the Global Energy Conference. Access to information for Engineering students is also to be restricted. Engineering students will no longer have access to the database on the Queen’s University Library Summons, as subscription fees have been deemed too expensive. It is also said from an unconfirmed source that Engineering Students will be denied access to the Sexual Health Resource Centre, because they shouldn’t be preoccupied with contraception and sexual flirtations, they “should be more focused on their studies and pay more attention in class”.
What a place Queen’s Engineering is becoming… Lucky for us this is just pretend, right? This would never happen in the real world.