Year after year, the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report profile of St. Thomas University simplifies and distorts the school’s student experience.
The 2015 STU profile was so misleading that the university’s head spokesman Jeffrey Carleton wrote a letter to the editor requesting changes to the online version. As of deadline, the Globe and Mail has not responded.
“We were disappointed again this year,” Carleton said of the report. “The write-up about St. Thomas University was just factually incorrect.”
The write-up claims St. Thomas shares a students’ union with University of New Brunswick. Each has its own union. Both operate out of the Student Union Building on UNB campus.
The report also says, “with few research commitments, faculty focus on teaching,” though most professors at STU have research commitments and the school has one Canadian Research Chair for every 25 full-time faculty members.
STUSU president Santiago Chavez said the profile is “far detached from the enriching reality that STU offers.”
“The concern is that it can do prospective students looking at their options a disservice by unfoundedly harming our community’s reputation,” he said.
He added that the profile’s reference to a partnership with the city was also wrong, and the writer was probably thinking of the provincially assisted “Liberal Arts Advantage Program.”
Carleton, who approached a senior writer about his grievances before profiling began this year, said with all its factual errors he wouldn’t call the reporting “journalism.”
“They simply didn’t present the reality of St. Thomas University,” Carleton said.
“They’re doing the report to make money. It’s a commercial operation for them to sell ads and to sell copies of the newspaper to parents who know it’s in there… It’s their number one selling issue.”
Carleton said STU was the only university to get an A+ grades from students in 2012.
“Our students would report very high scores for St. Thomas University that weren’t reflected in the write-up,” he said.
He also mentioned the report taking note of the alcohol-related death of a student in 2010 when similar instances have happened at other universities and were not included in the reports.
Chavez hopes the students’ union and the school can undo the effects of the negative press.
“Hopefully our hard work and communication will make it obvious to everyone that there are many more important and exciting things to be highlighted this year than the ones that they’ve chosen to point out,” he said.
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