The UWA Arts Faculty’s proposal to cut its Gender Studies, European Studies, and Medieval & Early Modern Studies majors has passed through Academic Council this afternoon, despite student dissent.

UWA Student Guild President Lizzy O’Shea is an Academic Council member, and was present when it reached its decision. Although no formal vote was taken, a consensus was reached by around 3:30pm.

O’Shea was critical of both the decision and the ability of the Council itself to adjudicate on such matters.

She said that although some Council members showed concern about the decision, “they were advised by Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson that it was best practice to take direction from the Arts Faculty, not try to trump them on these matters.”

“The idea that the Governing Council cannot critique or reject a proposal totally disregards the fact that our governance procedures exist for this reason. If the proposal could never be rejected, Academic Council is being treated as a hollow rubber stamp. We can’t just assume that all proposals are inherently worthy of acceptance just because they’ve been moved at the Council,” she said.

According to the #UWA Has Major Issues Facebook page, the next step in their campaign will be moving a motion against the decision at the Academic Board meeting on September 16th.

Words by Kat Gillespie