Students sing blues as Kwantlen cancels intake for 2019/2020 music program
With their school’s budget in need of balancing, prospective and current Kwantlen Polytechnic University music students are feeling the brunt of cost-cutting.
The university announced it plans to cut all intake for the music program in the upcoming 2019-20 schoolyear.
For students expecting to attend Kwantlen this fall and now having to change plans, there is a harmony of frustration and disappointment.
Nicole Murker, a student in the Music Foundations program, and is not technically enrolled in first year yet – now, she may have to wait patiently for another opportunity.
"It's too late in the year for me to be auditioning at UBC and UVic," said Murker, "so it's looking like I might not have school next year."
Students want to know why the music program specifically was being targeted, and said they only found out about the cancelled auditions from their friends in high school last week.
"They're essentially designating the music program. This is tarnishing our reputation," Emma Dotto, the president of the Kwantlen music association, told CTV News.
"KPU never really told anyone about this," she added.
Bradley Patrick, who graduates from the program this year, said music at Kwantlen gave him a chance to flourish when he struggled in more academic classes at high school.
He lamented seeing and feeling as if the students of the music program were "a dollar on a page, and not as big as another dollar."
“This school was something for me that it was a golden ray of sunshine," he said.
Sal Ferreras, the provost and vice-president academic for Kwantlen, said the cancellation is only temporary to allow the music program to be revised.
"Moving forward to this 2019-20 budget, we have to make some adjustments to make sure our budget is balanced as is legislated by the province," he said.
In a separate statement, Kwantlen cited the need for more space for the Dean of Arts, faculty, students and other stakeholders to "re-vision how music is delivered at the university."
Other departments facing budget trimming include Health Sciences and English according to KPU.
A meeting between the dean and faculty took place last week. Students attended though they were not allowed in.
An information session with the dean is planned for Thursday.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Allison Hurst