Microsoft Teams Platform
The LSS is setting up a platform to facilitate class-specific study groups through Microsoft Teams. We apologize for the delay in setting it up. The LSS was recently informed that the Microsoft Teams platform cannot be owned by a student body. Amazingly and heroically, Jordan, our Law Program and Classroom Technology Assistant, has volunteered to take on this process.
Jordan has already completed the necessary Teams Owner Training, and filed the request for the Law Faculty Team. We are now waiting on the UVic HelpDesk to get the platform live.
We will initially implement four main groups:
- The 1L Class
- The 2L Class
- The 3L Class
- A student wide group
Soon after we will input all of the courses in the Faculty, and students can join their respective classes to form study groups. We are also considering implementing a note sharing program within the platform. If there is any input on format and other possible groupings, please get in touch!
NOTE: we absolutely do not want to place an undue burden on Jordan to moderate the platform and its discussions. Please treat others with respect!
Online Code of Conduct
There have been widespread calls for the implementation of an online code of conduct in our current environment, and the LSS has been seriously pursuing the creation of such code. The main concern that arises is the enforcement and remedies of breaches to such a code. Any breach should involve a third-party mediator outside of the Faculty, and thus we are setting up a process of review with the UVic Ombudsperson.
The Code’s content will embody the values, principles, and ethics within the BC Law Society’s Code of Professional Conduct.
This code will apply faculty wide, and we will ask for student feedback in the drafting process. We expect the first draft to circulate in early January.
Accommodation is vastly different this year from previous years. Traditionally, accommodation could only be granted based on demonstrated disability and academic need, and students had to apply through the UVic Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL). There was strong student sentiment in the past that this was an arduous process for students who are already disadvantaged.
The accommodation process has been modified for the circumstances this year. The policy is still clear that a need must be demonstrated for accommodation, however, the University Executive has stated that pandemic-related concerns may constitute an academic need. Thus, accommodation is available to any student with demonstrable need, and certification via CAL is not required as it was in the past.
For questions and requests on accommodation, you can email either Michelle or Yvonne:
Michelle Lawrence, Associate Dean of Academic and Student Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yvonne Lawson, Manager of Academic Administration and Student Services, email@example.com
Diversity Access Fund – Financial Aid for Academic Expenses
In addition to bursaries, the Financial Aid committee has a Diversity Access Fund to assist with financial needs. In the past, this fund was directed for students with disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. This year, the fund has been expanded to help for challenges during the pandemic (and by virtue, financial challenges relating to online schooling). The application is a simple process, and starts with a conversation to see if it is appropriate. Applications are then brought to the Financial Aid Committee for consideration. Having submitted bursary applications will speed up the process, but are not required to apply for the Diversity Access Fund.
If a student has already applied for bursaries and their circumstances have changed, they can reapply for bursaries again. New applications for bursaries are also still available if you get in touch with Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For students with children, the Financial Aid Committee is also accepting any applications for the Child Care and Activities Reimbursement Fund. All requests can also be submitted to email@example.com.
Financial aid from these funds are granted through a reimbursement basis.
LSS Comment Box
If you have any questions or concerns about online learning or UVic Law in general, the LSS has created an open comment box for you to have your voice heard. You can choose to include your name and contact information if you want a follow up, or you can remain anonymous. The box will be open all year, and you can make multiple submissions.
LSS Student Fees
Student Fees collected by the LSS are an integral part of funding for the Law Faculty. As outlined in our bylaws, the disbursement of student fees for the 2020/2021 year is as follows.
The fee per term is $170. Of this amount, $160 is automatically disbursed to the Law Careers Office. This amount funds the LCO’s full-time salaries, online services such as OCEAN, and other office and program expenses. Any other LCO expenses relating to events, recruiting, venues, catering, and travel, are funded by the Faculty and cost-recovery methods.
From the remaining $10, 45% of the funds are allocated and remitted to the Indigenous Law Students’ Society. The rest of the fees are disbursed during Club’s Funding Night to fund the clubs at the Law Faculty (this year the amount totalled to $4000, disbursed between 16 clubs).
The LSS strongly considered amending the Student Fees given the COVID impacts on students’ financial circumstances this year, however, we decided against pursuing this amendment. The factors for our decision are as follows:
Many years ago, the Student Fee was just $10 per student per term, but a referendum was held in the early 2000’s to increase the fee to the current amount for a placement officer (i.e. to fund the LCO).
We also got in touch with the UVSS to ascertain the process of changing the fees. A similar referendum would have to be held, the entire process would take around 3 months, and the effects would only be realized for the Spring semester.
This time frame would substantially reduce the intended benefit of amending the Student Fees, and most importantly, we believe the current use of the fees is necessary. As such, we refrained from pursuing the referendum.
Recording of Lectures
There has been strong suggestion from both the LSS and the administration that all lectures should be recorded. Unfortunately, we cannot set this as a strict faculty requirement as we must respect professor’s discretions within their classroom settings.
Unfortunately, as much as we would love to, we cannot hold an in-person graduation ceremony this year. However, the LSS has dedicated funding for graduation, and the 3L reps are happy to intake any suggestions for a distanced celebration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Grad Photos for students local to Victoria are now done (a spring shoot will be held again). For students residing outside of Victoria, a Spring Grad photo process will be held. The process will be determined based on the results of the Grad Photo survey.
We understand there may be increased Grad Photo costs due to shipping, and we are working on grad fundraising initiatives to go towards reimbursements.