We, at Chiaroscuro, have dedicated ourselves in creating informative (and expressive) articles for your viewing pleasure. But some readers, (meanies), often critique that our passages are too emotional and opinion based. Therefore, we want to dedicate an issue on raw data to see how it would work out. So we handed out a survey across the university with the goal of finding knowledge and some first-hand data. After 136 responses, we looked into the data and went through all the responses to come up with the following. If you do not want to go through the whole thing, we mindfully highlighted the important data in bold.
During the registration period, 60.3% of students said that they successfully got everything they had on their list, while 39.7% said that they had some dissatisfactions. A surprising amount of students said that they struggled to get the necessary classes they needed for their program. While no particular program was specified, there does seem to be a need for more classes which are required to complete programs.
On the topic of classes, we wanted to know if students find that they have enough time outside of class to complete their assignments. 12% of students said yes, 60.5% said sometimes, and 27.5% said no; they do not find that they have enough time to complete work outside of class. To put that into perspective, roughly 1 in 8 students say they have enough time to complete their schoolwork, while students who said “no” outnumber them by two and a half times. Interestingly, that fits quite well with the normal distribution with a midpoint around 60%. In human language, we are 10% below average on having “enough time” outside of class.
We asked a number of students if they had experienced segregation at OCAD, and while 44.9% said no, 18.4% said yes and 36.8% said they were unsure. We wanted to know more, so we asked for some responses. A large portion of students said that they felt a separation of students based on their program – that design students and art students did not have any crossover to work in classes together because of their program. Some said that if the professor was not engaging with the class, that the class wouldn’t engage with itself or the teacher, causing a sense of isolation, saying it was nothing like community. Students also said that they felt the school does not help them succeed when facing external difficulties.
We also wanted to know if any students had ever been bullied at OCAD. We were happy to hear that 82.4% said no, they hadn’t experienced any bullying. Finally some good news. The remaining 17.6% were split evenly, 8.8% had been bullied and 8.8% weren’t sure. Some ways students had been bullied included: being bullied for physical appearance, having their work laughed at, ignored in group chats and malicious feedback in critiques.
The topic of being mistreated at the school made us wonder if professors have been mean to the students they teach, and while 57% of you said no and 13.3% of you said you weren’t sure, 29.6% of you said yes. Students said that teachers came to class ill-prepared to teach and wouldn’t respond to emails outside of class. Some also said that the professors neglected to take their personal matters seriously, and that teachers were more in favour of students who created work in a style that the professor would like, ignoring the essence of the artist. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance to fill out teacher reviews at the end of each semester. Your word matters, good or bad, and don’t forget it!
As an extra question about professors, we wanted to know if students felt like professors supplied them with enough information and instruction on how to use the studio equipment. Results show that 55.9% of you said sometimes, 28% of you said no, and 16.2% of you said yes. This is extremely important and needs to be addressed as a lack of knowledge on how to properly use equipment refrains students from using the equipment, which is only hindering the students that are there to learn.
Finally, we wanted to know how your OCAD experience has been so far, on a scale of 1 to 10. Out of our 136 responses, 20.6% said their experience was an “8”, 24.3% said “6” and 26.5% said “7”. 10.2% said that their experience was a “1” to a “4”, while 6.6% said that their experience was a “9” or higher. Based off of these numbers, there seems to be a general satisfaction with the school, but certainly leaves room to grow, which happens with change.
The transition into university life can be one of the most terrifying and difficult times in a person’s life. Not only are people moving away from everything they know and love in order to try and get the best education that they can, but for some, it marks the beginning of a huge transition –the transition into adulthood. With this complete and total focus on learning and discovering who we are, it can be difficult to maintain the friendships we had before.
This is a concept that traditional universities seem to understand. These so-called ‘traditional’ schools make a real attempt at forming a tight-knit community on campus. The stoke pride and joy for their institutions within their students and ensure that everyone has at least one person to talk to.
For a combination of reasons, OCAD just isn’t the same as these other schools. Whether it be the increased population of older students, the fact that the school does not have its own residence, or the amount of people who commute from outside of the city. For some reason, that sense of community and pride just doesn’t exist at this school at the same level at other universities. This poses a huge problem, not only for student mental health, but for student productivity and success.
Having an active support network is extremely important for student mental health. With all of the stress we go through trying to create the best work possible, without a network of friends to lean on, it makes it difficult to blow off steam and reduce stress. Most students tend to find this support network with time, but during those vital first months of school it can be hard for especially shy students to find their footing. OCAD needs to make more of an attempt at connecting students early on and ensuring that at the end of the day, everyone has at least one person they can lean on for support.
Being in any creative industry is inherently collaborative, and despite the fact that we go to such a small university, we are unable to break down program barriers and truly collaborate with each other. The division between faculties is one of the most obvious segregations that a student can experience at OCAD. It’s almost as if we are not just practicing different disciplines, but going to completely different schools. Artists and designers, however we are different, share the same spirit and drive to create. Creatives deserve a space where they can truly collaborate. Learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. Discover new ways of thinking.
We are also segregated based on our programs. Each discipline has almost a completely different culture. In our industry we are more likely to see is somewhat similar where we encounter people who do the same work as us, our education should be a time to discover other disciplines, and figure out how they can work in the context of our own.
OCAD may not be a traditional university, but that sense of community is more vital here than anywhere else. We have so much to gain from relationships with other creatives, and so much to learn from our peers. This is the time where this sense of a true collaborative community is the most necessary. So, we can expand our thinking and discover what is truly possible and apply that to our own work. OCAD shouldn’t train us to think single-mindedly, but as true creatives who push boundaries and discover what is possible.
We have taken this chance to interview a few students about how they feel in regards to various problems that they face at OCAD.
Read their views here:
Narrative: Sebastián Rodrìguez Vasti
— Chiaroscuro Writing Team