WATCH: A University of Victoria student says he’s being discriminated against after he was told he would not be able to attend a graduation ceremony in June. Calvin To reports.
University of Victoria student Nathan Bodie, 32, says he’s being discriminated against after he was told he would not be able to attend a graduation ceremony in June, despite finishing his program.
His five-year program in political science and social justice was made possible because a Steps Forward, a B.C. program that helps people with developmental disabilities attend college or university.
Bodie says the university told him he is not eligible to attend convocation because his courses are not for credit. Instead, they go towards a certificate of completion.
“I was upset, I kinda felt like it was five years for nothing,” Bodie says.
According to Steps Forward, of the seven campuses involved in the program (University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, Corpus Christi College, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, UBC Okanagan and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology), the University of Victoria is the only campus in B.C. where students are not given the opportunity to graduate with everyone else.
“To be denied the ultimate moment at the end, is just crushing,” says Nancy Bodie, Nathan’s mother.
The situation has prompted Julia Templeman, a close friend of Bodie, to circulate a petition. So far, it has garnered more than 2,000 signatures, including about 20 faculty and staff.
“If I can’t get Nathan to cross that stage in June, then I’m going to continue fighting this issue next year, and just get more and more people on board,” Templeman says.
In response, the University of Victoria said in a statement:
“The University is working with STEPS-Forward towards a resolution… We expect this matter will be resolved within a short time.”
Bodie says it’s all a stalling tactic.
“I just feel like UVic’s just stonewalling,” he says. “And then waiting for graduation to come and pass.”
Here is a link to Bodie’s petition