By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
SOME University of The Bahamas culinary students are up in arms as they were not allowed to graduate last month, claiming a professor failed to submit their course grades in time.
One of the students spoke to The Tribune under condition of anonymity, saying how unfair the decision was when students of another department, who faced the same situation, were reportedly allowed to graduate.
“We feel literally devastated,” said the culinary student. “It is not our fault if our professor did not send in our grades on time. We took our course and expect the grades to be submitted and on time. How is that our fault? I don’t think this is fair to us at all.
“We made plans for our lives after UB and this will only hold things up. I honestly thing the university needs to review this situation and come to another conclusion as this is really just not fair.”
The students who took the culinary course said UB told them they have to wait until next year to graduate when grades from their their class in question have been included with their other grades. They will be class of 2021, they said.
“They are telling us that we are unable to graduate until next year,” the student continued. “This sets our lives back an entire year. So we will be knocking around until then or taking on employment that is less than what we studied and making less money just because someone else failed to submit our grades on time. It seems to us that we have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence.
“Here’s the thing though. Another department at UB, unrelated to ours, had a situation with a course just like we are having. The lecturer did not turn in the grades on time but they were allowed to apply for graduation and was accepted. They had no problem,” the student claimed. “Who made that decision and why couldn’t we be afforded the same courtesy seeing that it is not our fault?”
The culinary student hopes the board of directors at UB get together to rectify the situation. The students are alleging that all of their grades and papers are now in so it is a simple decision to make.
The Tribune was unable to reach a UB official for comment.
However Daniel Thompson, president of the Union of Tertiary Educators of the Bahamas, gave a possible reason for the setback.
“These are probably associate’s degree students,” Mr Thompson explained. “What is happening is that a lot of the culinary programmes have a practical component that almost must be done face to face. That is the challenge with culinary courses. Several of the culinary courses had to be labelled as ‘incomplete’ because it’s difficult to find a way to run a virtual restaurant (due to the pandemic). We have not found a way to do that.
“That is the situation with most of the practical courses we have. As much as I know, the university is giving them an ‘incomplete’, but I believe the nurses and the culinary students will take these courses this summer before the fall semester starts. I also believe it will just be about three weeks to complete. The university is dragging its feet, I think, but it will be done.”