askastudent

your student life specialists

Mar 03

rotmikes (not a good combined name. i regret this.)

I’ve been accepted to Rotman but I’ve been reading a lot of things that are putting me off, specifically that the atmosphere is cold and your campus and social life will suffer. How true are you finding this? Also do you have any idea what St. Michael’s College is like? I was accepted there for residence and would like to know more about it:) thanks in advance!

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hey there,

before i get into this, i may as well give full disclosure: i’m not a rotman student, so i don’t have any kind of INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE of how rotman works. i have a lot of anecdotal information from having friends in rotman, but that can only go so far. i mean, they don’t let people onto the internet with just ANECDOTES, y’know. only real, legit people get on the internet.

but hey, not being in rotman has never stopped me writing about them before! check out aska’s rotman tag for all kinds of musings.

as a general point, i’ll say that lots of programs that are known for being very INTENSE can be isolating (engineering, engsci, rotman, economics, comp. sci). if it turns out you don’t like the program and/or find it very difficult, it can be hard to integrate yourself into the community.

to put it another way: if it turns out you hate commerce, you’re not going to want to be hanging out with a bunch of commerce-y people all the time. it’ll get real old, real fast.

however, it’s not impossible to make friends and get involved. here are a list of student organizations at rotman, all of which are a great opportunity to make friends within rotman. and if you love what you’re studying, you’ll be able to make friends with other people who love it and actually enjoy yourself.

also, you’re allowed to have a life outside rotman (believe it or not). college life is a great opportunity to get involved – at st. mike’s you have the st. michael’s college student union, the st. michael’s college residence council and the st. michael’s college troubadours, just to name a few.

even if you don’t do anything on campus, it’s hard NOT to make friends when you’re living on residence. just like…exist…on your floor and people will notice you and talk to you. and if YOU take the initiative to talk to THEM? well then, you’re golden.

if you want to know more about st. mike’s, please check out our st. mike’s tag. you can also peruse aska’s ‘prospective students’ page and check out the links listed for st. michael’s college. (there’s a lot of ‘em and they took a ridiculously long time to link, so please click on them).

the residences at st. michael’s college are divided into five buildings. st. mike’s is the only college on campus which has single-sex floors – which i guess could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

despite that, every house/floor in the residence is part of an incredibly tight-knit community. everyone dines in the canada room, which is a great big dining hall on the college campus. everyone eats together, everyone lives together, and everyone participates in rez life together.

as a first year, you’re most likely to be put in fisher house, teefy house or elmsley hall (1st or 4th floor) (if you’re female), and moore house or elmsley hall (2nd or 3rd floor) (if you’re male). you can read up on the character of each building here.

congrats again on your acceptance! see you around next year,

aska


Mar 03

pending WHAT???

I got accepted to u of t st George campus and on join id it says admitted but when I click check status it still says pending review?

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hey there,

my guess is that the university is still waiting on some final documents for your school to submit, but that they’ve offered you a conditional admission based on your in-progress marks.

what does that mean in not-uoft-jargon? it means you’re in. so don’t worry.

unless JOIN is saying you yourself need to submit something specific, i doubt there’s much for you to do but sit back, relax and wait. however, you can always contact enrolment services to make sure there’s absolutely nothing more you need to do.

and hey – congrats on your acceptance! welcome to hell (a.k.a. the best time of your life. no, really).

cheers,

aska


Mar 03

LWD’ing an academic offence

Hello,

I was wondering about the Late Withdrawal policy with an academic offense. In summary, I have been alleged of an academic misconduct during an exam, but it was nothing too serious like it was not cheating or hidden notes. It was because of possession of an unauthorized aid which was a cellphone, but it is still an offense. But I did not look at my phone at all during the whole time. Anyways, I might have to go through the very complicated process of meeting the prof, chairman of the department, dean and so on. So, I was wondering when I could be able to drop the course and place a withdrawal?

Specifically, if the dean decides to punish me by like a 30% mark reduction on the exam, and I want to drop the course. Is that allowed? I heard that once you are caught with academic offense in a course, you no longer have the privilege to ask for a LWD. I mean, I know I did something bad by not following the rules and I regret so much by not putting the phone in my bag. But that is really going to impact my course grade and destroy my GPA…

I know that if the Dean/Chairman decides that it is not an offense to them, then I would be allowed to easily drop the course with LWD, but I don’t know how it will go and what will be my fate.

Thank you for your time,

I hope someone could help me out and I feel so depressed from what happened to me this week.

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hey there,

you are not allowed to drop the course while the investigation of academic offence is happening – that includes late withdrawal. you are also not allowed to drop the course if they impose a sanction. unfortunately a 30% mark reduction is an example of a sanction, so no, you wouldn’t be able to LWD in that case.

i know it’s tough to feel like a silly slip-up has cost you so much. no one likes to deal with an academic offence – literally no one. however, this is not the end of the academic road. i know it seems like a huge deal now, but you can recover from this (and so can your GPA).

most importantly, there are people who can help you. i highly recommend you talk to your college registrar so that they can guide you through this process.

best of luck with it,

aska


Mar 03

the fees’ knees

This year, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of paying my tuition fees by myself (pretty much all my money from working goes straight to my tuition). At the beginning of the school year in fall, I made the minimum payment and have been making small payments ever since. I am a little bit worried that I might not be able to pay it all off in time (like I’ll probably have little bit left by the end). So what will happen if I don’t? Will I still be able to do my exams and after get my final grades on ROSI? Or will they prevent me from taking any exams and fail me in all my courses? Also when’s the last day that I can pay (I can’t find it on the fees website)? Can I make arrangement to have it paid off by another date?

UTSC student.

Thanks again!

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hey there,

they definitely will not prevent you from writing exams – no dumbledore business going on here.

the last day to completely pay your tuition this year is april 30th (Table 1). if you are not able to make the full payment by april 30th, they will block any transcript requests and may refuse further registration (Note 2, Table 1).

so you’ll definitely be able to complete your courses this year (i mean, barring any considerations of the strike), but you may have some trouble registering next year.

if you don’t think you can completely pay it off by april 30th (or even if you’re uncertain), i’d strongly recommend making an appointment to talk with the financial counsellor at your college registrar’s office. they can give you more details about what happens if you can’t make the payment, explore financial aid options with you, and help you make some plans going forward.

and hey – good on you for paying your way through education. we have a really high tuition and student pay is (usually) really low, so paying your way through school these days is pretty tough to pull off. nicely done.

cheers,

aska


Mar 03

bug your profs!

Hi aska!

I’m a first year student trying to decide what my Subject Post would be. So I was thinking about doing a Psychology specialist, Economics major and Statistics minor. They still add up to 20 credits but do you think U of T would let me do such a combination?

I also have another question: do you think it’s possible to ask professors to round a 79 to 80 after it’s on ROSI?

Thank you and much love :)

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hey there,

firstly, sorry for the abysmally late response. we’ve been pretty backed up on questions and are finally catching up. FINALLY.

technically, you CAN do a specialist, major and a minor. it’s not breaking any of the rules around subject POSts (i.e. no more than three POSts total, no more than two specialists/majors). i don’t know how you’re gonna pull of those three POSts and fulfil breadth requirements, but you can give it your best shot. good luck to ya.

as to your question: it’s definitely possible. do i think they’ll do it? probably not. but hey, you have their e-mail – feel free to give it a shot.

cheers,

aska


Mar 02

myres is only your res if you want to live in res

yo aska, if we’re gonna be commuting to school, do we have to complete a myres application? my app on join uoft is still “pending review” with the myres saying “incomplete” and i’m hearing a lot of people are getting their acceptances now, should I be worried or something?

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yo,

myres - as the name suggests – is a portal for applying to residence at uoft.

so no, if you’re commuting, you don’t have to complete it. makes sense, huh?

aska

P.S. if you’re worried about the ‘incomplete,’ you can always call enrolment services to make sure there aren’t any other outstanding documents you need to hand in.


Mar 02

how conditional is a conditional offer?

I have a general question here So I recently got accepted to UTSG (yay!!) and since I’m an anxious person i now worry my offer will be revoked. I have a 96 in english which is the prereq and I think my average going in was 95 however im scared if my average drops to 85 they will take it away?? I applied for humanities

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I got into u of t downtown today and I’m relieved! However im now stressing that they will revoke my acceptance…

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hey there person/persons,

if you receive a conditional offer of admission, it usually takes a pretty severe dip in marks in order to have that revoked.

typically, you need to have dropped significantly below your admissions average for your offer to be retracted. the university says that you’re admitted  “on condition that they complete their academic year successfully” – there is no mention of keeping your marks as high as they were in december.

tl;dr: you probably don’t have to worry about a drop from a 95% to an 85%, or a 10% drop generally. now go out and go tobogganing or something.

cheers,

aska


Feb 26

calculate your chances

My friend applied for life science in St.George, but for whatever reason he forgot to take Calculus in high school! He took math 12 and the rest of requirements. His other mark are really high, and got 97 in Biology. Is there any chance for him?

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hey there,

calculus is a required course for life science, so i doubt it. i’d recommend your friend call enrolment services and ask what to do from here on out.

it’s possible they might be able to switch their application from life science to the humanities and then take PUMP in first year, or they may have to take it in night school or during the summer. but they should definitely call ASAP because the deadline to apply was 10 days ago.

best of luck!

aska


Feb 26

only acronyms can make us feel legitimate

Hey! First, I love your blog, it’s a great help to me! Second, I want to take a summer course but it says to have either a credit in an English course or any 4.0 FCE…I’m just wondering if FCE means just any 4 credits, like any courses I’ve done?

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hey there,

joke’s on you: we don’t write askastudent to be helpful. we write it because we are BITTER and WIZENED old students who only derive pleasure from being annoying know-it-alls online. ha.

‘FCE’ stands for ‘full credit equivalent’ and is basically synonymous with the word credit. so one FCE, or 1.0 credits, is either one year-long course or two half-year courses.

meaning that if you have 4.0 credits, you have 4.0 FCEs.

cheers,

aska


Feb 26

sassing is truly an important pastime

Okay I feel like this is a stupid question that I’ll probably find the answer to right after I send this email, but I’m having a mild panic attack about this, so asking around can’t hurt. Okay, so I’m at UTM and I just dropped a Y course, which brought my course load down from 70% for this semester to 50%, so I’m now considered a part time student. I’m not on OSAP, but I did get 30% off my tuition, I know you have to inform OSAP when your course load changes, or it can effect your funding in the following years. I downloaded and filled out the Financial Aid Change Form, I’m just not sure where I’m suppose to submit it or address it to. The Office of Registrar? The Financial Aid Office at the downtown campus? I’m just so vexed as to what to put on the front of the envelope.

Thanks so much for your help. And if I do manage to figure this out on my own than sorry for wasting your time.

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hey there,

not at all! i actually don’t consider this a waste of time. even when people ask me which college is the best college, EVEN THEN i don’t consider it a waste of time. i find sassing them is time well spent.

anyway, yes, that form is produced by the registrar’s office, and page 36 of this presentation says that any changes to your status relating to OSAP should be reported to them, so i think it’s safe to say the form should be going to the registrar.

best,

aska


Feb 26

elongate those dead lines

Which are the application deadlines which are extended?

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all of them except architecture. what’s up with that, daniels?

aska


Feb 26

what’s the deal with the strike?

So what happens during a strike anyway?

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hey there,

good question. on the eve of an impending strike, i’ve talked to more than one student who’s stressed themselves to hysteria over the possibility of a strike by CUPE 3902 Unit 1. so why not shed some light on the situation?

THE SET-UP

so, who the heck are these strikers in the first place? CUPE stands for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. 3902 is the number representing the university of toronto.

three CUPE 3902 units have entered into negotiations in the past few months: Unit 1 (all Post-Doctoral Fellows, graduate students in the School of Graduate Studies and undergraduate students in the University of Toronto employed as teaching assistants, teaching fellows, demonstrators, tutors, markers, instructors, teaching laboratory assistants, Chief Presiding Officers, invigilators and part-time lecturers), Unit 3 (all non-student academic staff employed on contracts of less than one-year as lecturers, demonstrators, tutors, markers, graders or instructors or laboratory assistants) and Unit 5 (post-doctoral fellows).

Units 3 and 5 have both negotiated settlements. Unit 1 has not yet negotiated a settlement, though the university has said that it is “fully committed to achieving a negotiated settlement for a renewal collective agreement with CUPE 3902 Unit 1 without a labour disruption, and has reason to believe that the parties will be able to do so.

THE STRIKE

now, onto your question. what happens during a strike?

well, firstly and most importantly: the university WILL NOT CLOSE (FAQs for Students, #4). most of your classes will likely continue (FAQs for Students, #5). again, only certain instructors and TAs are represented by Unit 1, so classes run by professors will continue as planned.

as well, even people who ARE represented by Unit 1 are still allowed to work (FAQs For Employees In The CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Bargaining Unit, #1) – though of course, this is not something we can or should expect, and will depend on the individual. make sure you’re checking Blackboard regularly for updates about your particular lectures/labs/tutorial sections.

since your classes may or may not continue as planned, it is important to check Blackboard regularly for updates (this is referenced throughout the FAQs for Students).

as to how and when class will continue in the event of a strike, that’s something the university isn’t able to answer at the moment (that’s aska’s subtle way of saying: don’t speculate! it’s not helpful in any way). however, they are aware of the possibility of a strike impeding students’ studies, and are doing their best to make sure the effect is minimal.

question #23 of the FAQs for Students makes that pretty clear: “The University is committed to enabling its students to complete their program requirements in a timely fashion, and is aware of the particular needs and concerns of students intending to graduate this spring. We will be providing further communications if a strike occurs, and we will do our utmost to ensure that students are able to complete their degree requirements within the usual timeframe.”

and yes: you should still complete the work that’s been assigned to you, unless your instructor has informed you otherwise (FAQs for Students, #19). sorry to crush your dreams .

THE COVERAGE

if you’d like to keep up with info about the strike, Blackboard and uoft’s FAQ are the best places to go.

however, there’s also been coverage by The Varsity, The Star and CBC. if you’re an undergrad student and want to get involved, check out this facebook group.

THE SIGN-OFF

all the best,

aska


Feb 26

you have to ASK POLITELY

Hi ASKA

Do I have to apply to graduate or is it an automatic thing?  If I do have to apply then when is the deadline for a summer 2015 graduation? Thank you.

Waiting grad.

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hey there WAITING GRAD,

yes, you do have to request graduation. on the downtown campus, that deadline was december 2nd*. make sure you go to your registrar’s office asap to put through a request.

(and remember to keep an eye on deadlines, eh? they’re important. even i know that, and i’m just someone in a chicken suit sitting at a computer).

aska

*i’m assuming that by ‘summer 2015′ you mean june 2015. the next graduation time is november 2015, and that deadline is later.


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