Recent Grad of Middle Eastern & African Studies, Joel French, Writes Blog Post

Joel French, a recent graduate in Middle Eastern & African Studies and Religious Studies, has written a post about the proposed Arts program suspensions on his blog, “Leftist Lens.” Here’s an excerpt:

There are many reasons, some of which I outlined above, why it makes sense to have a MEAS program. It doesn’t cost much. It trains leaders to solve international conflicts. It prepares people for the business world. If you want to study the Middle East, you can now either move to Montreal or look to another country. And the bottom line for me is this: we live in by far the wealthiest province in Canada and one of the richest jurisdictions in the entire world. Why would we cut a program (or 20 programs) with so many benefits for so little cost? The answer: we prioritize the profits of oil companies above all else. Our province’s GDP continues to grow, yet our government’s policies bring in so little revenue that we’re slashing university programs, struggling to keep our health care system afloat, and reducing teaching positions when we have more kids in schools than ever before. Yes, the people at the top of the university’s administration make way too much money, but their wages are nothing compared to the amount Alberta’s Conservatives are giving away to their friends who own oil companies (many of them not Albertan). The program cuts at the U of A are just another sign that we need a change in government in this province.

Full post at

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