By: Quintina Northrup
“We are current, incoming, and former UNB students of the Psychology program. We would like to advocate strongly for the approval of the Biology-Psychology program on our Fredericton campus.”
So opens a letter addressed to President Mazerolle from 41 UNB-Fredericton Psychology students.
The letter comes in response to the lack of transparency surrounding the program’s apparent suspension from the UNB-Fredericton campus.
Students enumerate the program’s necessity in the letter:
“1) Student interest in this program and its necessity for our future careers; 2) the unsatisfactory routes students have taken in their major selections as an attempt to access content defined by this program; and 3) the urgency with which [students] feel that action regarding this program’s approval should occur.”
Alumni of the Psychology department also offered their support.
“Those of us who are graduates of the Psychology program concur that the Biology-Psychology program would be a highly relevant addition to the UNB-Fredericton Psychology department.”
This program would allow students to navigate a linear academic path in the brain science field.
“Those of us who are current students have been compensating for the lack of a Biology-Psychology program by taking various convoluted routes,” the students wrote. “To be productive in our fields of interest, specialized courses designed and overseen by both Psychology and Biology departments are crucial for our scholarly foundation and academic development.”
Though the Biology-Psychology program was approved by the Senate curriculum committee in January 2019, it remains unavailable. Students have been left in the dark as to what transpired to result in this. The Brunswickan contacted Dr. Gary W. Saunders (Dean of Science), Dr. Joanne H. Wright (Dean of Arts), and Lauryn Munro (President of the Undergraduate Psychology Society) for some insight into the situation, but all declined interviews.
UNB Psychology students hope that the administration will approve the program as soon as possible. They emphasize that the field of Bio-Psych is rapidly evolving, and are concerned they will be academically unprepared to contribute.
“Brain science is on the rise—mysteries about the human brain that have enticed psychologists for hundreds of years are being recontextualized by the ever-growing technological advancements that are defining our era…. Students from universities that prioritize Biology-Psychology programs will be far better oriented in this rapidly expanding field. Those of us who are incoming and current students would strongly benefit from this program at UNB-Fredericton where we study and work.”
Will UNB-Fredericton students’ letter of request be taken seriously and their academic needs met?