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University of Rochester - Visual and Cultural Studies (Fall 2021 Suspense)


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Hi everybody,

The VCS program at the University of Rochester decided to suspend the admissions for Fall 2021 after a month we all submitted our applications with an email that does not give a shit about the the effort, time, hopes, and "precarity" of the applicants, and acting as if there is nothing wrong with making this decision after receiving the applications. The email, sent by the graduate school with the name of the VCS graduate director, is as follows. This topic is for the applicants to discuss the possible courses of action against this situation. 

"The Steering Committee of the Graduate Program in Visual & Cultural Studies has decided to suspend admissions this year. After careful deliberation, we determined that providing enhanced support to our students was the best course of action considering the global health crisis and the increased precarity it has introduced into an already uncertain academic fellowship and job market. Enhanced support will be equally distributed amongst all students in the 2021-22 academic year. We will refund application fees to those who applied for possible 2021-22 matriculation to VCS.

While current circumstances occasioned the decision to provide enhanced support to students, other factors also played a role. The pause in admissions allows us to examine how to strengthen the teaching and training we do in VCS in a manner responsive to the changed nature of academic labor and the expansion of non-academic careers for people with PhDs. We aim to better understand this transformed situation, even if we cannot easily solve the problems it presents. In so doing, we also aim to continue promoting the ongoing success of VCS students, staff, and faculty alike.

Joel Burges
Associate Professor, Department of English
Director, Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies
Film and Media Studies, Digital Media Studies
Rochester Decarceration Research Initiative
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY"
Edited by Appiah4
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Thanks, @Appiah4for this forum. I think we should make a collective statement, like a letter address to the program. But also, we need to report the situation publicly... We can use our social media accounts or bombing the University profiles with messages...   

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