Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Over the past two years the University of Guelph has suffered devastating budget cuts across all its departments. Now, two weeks before the University’s departments’ budgets are due, students that are already unsatisfied with the quality of their education are becoming increasingly anxious.

The 2004/05 academic year saw a university-wide 4.5% budget cut and this year the University community has endured an additional 3.5% budget reduction. These cuts have significantly affected the quality of education provided at this institution. Now, the University administration is proposing additional 2% budget cuts for the next five years.

“Future budget cuts would mean ever increasing class sizes, more reliance on corporate funding and increased workloads for campus labour groups - all of which would result in a decrease in the overall quality of our educational experience on a campus that is already dirty, short-staffed and physically falling apart,” says Scott Gilbert, External Affairs Commissioner at the Central Student Association.

“Being a student here for three years I have seen many things happen that have hurt the students, but the potential for additional budget cuts is the worst,” says Bre Walt, a third year Honours English student. “Further cuts will hurt the quality of education that many students are going into a lot of debt in order to receive. It is disgraceful that the focus of post-secondary education is no longer on the students and it is obvious that there is a clear disregard for students, faculty and staff.”

“What is further upsetting is that it is probable that students will also be faced, come September, with the lift of the tuition freeze. Students are going to be left, yet again, in a position where they are paying more for less.”

“I simply do not understand why we have to cut,” says Gilbert. “When the provincial government released its ‘education budget’ earlier this year, it was heralded by President Summerlee as a courageous move and the budget was widely praised across the province. Why would we be so happy about a budget that means we will have to cut even more this year, after we already saw massive cuts across the campus last year and when tuition fees will likely increase again next Fall?”

“I am offended that, if we truly need to cut so much, the provincial budget was not criticized heavily for being so short as to even maintain our university at a level that was the year before. There is no legitimate reason for the quality of our education system to continually be eroded. The CSA will do everything in our power to oppose these trends and work towards a better environment for all on this campus, but particularly students.”

“Students and other members of this community need to let the university administration know that this is not acceptable,” says Walt. “Putting a choke on our quality of education is not, and never will be the answer.”

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  1. Posted by: Ed on Nov 7, 2005 @ 1:52pm

    What a rediculous article. I like how the CSA randomly interviewed Scott Gilbert's girlfriend and the person at the head of the Students Against Corporate control. It's not good that they are cutting the budget, but at least try to write a decent article.

  2. Posted by: on Nov 9, 2005 @ 9:50pm

    Dude, it's a press release. Bre Walt is the president of Students Against Corporate Control, a former CSA Board member, a current CSA employee, and a member of the University of Guelph Senate. She's knowledgeable about accessibility and can express the CSA's viewpoint articulately.

    Get a clue. Press releases are supposed to contain quotes by people who agree with you and know what they're talking about.

  3. Posted by: John h on Nov 20, 2005 @ 10:41am

    And so that's why press releases aren't typically accorded much value from those who aren't releasing them.

    Something more in the way of analysis on budget issues might be the way to go. Imagine how much more useful the CSA Exec would be if it spent less time moaning about those inept Admin types and more time advocating compelling alternatives to what the Admin puts forth. You do have a better plan, right??!!

  4. Posted by: on Nov 21, 2005 @ 1:10pm

    Are you addressing that question to me or the CSA?

  5. Posted by: r on Feb 26, 2006 @ 1:52pm

    doesn't matter who it was addressed to.

    from your post I'd have to say the answer is no on both counts

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