STUDENTS PROTESTING BALLOONING STUDENT DEBT TODAY
Wednesday, February 1, 20120 Comments
On Wednesday, February 1st, the CSA is coordinating a rally to “Fight the Hikes”. This event will send a message to the provincial and federal governments as well as the University’s Board of Governors that action is needed to alleviate student debt and expand accessibility in order to protect quality, affordable, public education.
Who: The Central Student Association – the undergraduate student union at the University of Guelph - representing over twenty thousand undergraduate students.
What: University of Guelph students will be joining thousands of students across the country in a Cross-Canada Day of Action to protest against the rising costs of post secondary education. The slogan that will be common to these protests is that “Education is a Right”. With Ontario being home to the highest tuition fees in the country, as well as the province with the lowest per-student funding, it is important that students stand in solidarity across Canada to ensure our voices are heard. Students will be speaking about their experiences with debt, signing petitions and ‘unveiling’ the student critique of the Ontario government’s “30% Tuition Grant”.
Where: The University Centre courtyard.
When: Wednesday, February 1st, 2pm.
Why: The federal Conservative government needs to take meaningful action to reduce cross-Canada student debt, which is approaching fifteen billion dollars. Students across the country are demanding a Post-Secondary Education Act (similar to the Canada Health Act) that would ensure federal funding to post-secondary education. Students are also protesting the cap on funding to Aboriginal students imposed by the federal government, which is a violation of First Nations’ treaty rights.
The average undergraduate student in Ontario graduates more than thirty-five thousand dollars in debt. The Ontario government has recently implemented its “30% Tuition Grant”, which was sold during the election as a 30% reduction in tuition to students whose parents earn less than one hundred and sixty thousand dollars. In fact, this grant leaves out two-thirds of students in Ontario, including part-time students, graduate students, international students, students not who are not dependant on their parents, and many more. Three previous grants were also scrapped in order to fund a large portion of the new grant. The Ontario government, with the highest tuition in the country, has not released its new funding formula to date. Students fear more increases in tuition will be included. More and more students are unable to attend university because of an inability to take on “debt sentences”. For international students, the cost of education is increasingly unbearable with tuition two to three times higher than domestic students, despite the fact that they contribute CPP, EI and pay taxes.
The Board of Governors at the University of Guelph has voted to raise tuition for the past five years running. While the budget is not yet public, Guelph students want to make it clear that the University should be standing with students and demanding greater public funding, not increased user-fees.
Promotional Video Made by Guelph students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgtUK-znXjs&context=C3b84663ADOEgsToPDskLhs5GXhjHgeE0wYSBXHMs7