SFU axes Latin American studies major

By David Dyck

On February 6, SFU senate voted to dissolve the Latin American studies (LAS) major and joint major program.

The rationale presented at the meeting stated: “We must do this because in recent years we have lost most of the faculty who teach in this program, making it impossible for us to offer the courses students require in order to complete the undergraduate major . . . As it stands, the program is simply not viable.”

Christopher Apps is a recent graduate of the LAS program, and is now a masters student at the University of Calgary. “I thought it was a cool program,” Apps told The Peak. “I learned a lot of stuff, and it set me up with a professor who I ended up working a lot with and sort of directed what I’m doing here [in grad school].”

Apps took his joint major in LAS with political science, which he said was beneficial “I focused on mining and resources, so the programs worked well with each other.

“Much like the Canadian Studies program that got shut down a few years ago, it’s too bad. It represented a really interesting and diverse side of SFU.”

LAS will retain the graduate program, graduate certificate, and the undergraduate minor, and will periodically offer other courses. There are currently six LAS joint major students who will be allowed to finish their degrees.