Students should skip class Nov 5th to "Drop Tuition Fees"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Written by Drew Garvie

University of Guelph students are preparing for the November 5th provincial “Day of Action to Drop Tuition Fees”. This event is part of the Canadian Federation of Students “Drop the Fees” campaign. All students of the University of Guelph, through their membership in the Central Students Association, are also members of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). It is this national organization, representing 300 000 students coast-to-coast, that is calling for “students and families to build a lasting movement for a new post-secondary education system”.

So why is your CSA and your national student union calling for grass roots organizing at this time and in this way? Accessible education, especially in Ontario, has been eroding since the early 1990’s with tuition fees increasing at four times the rate of inflation. Our province is now ranked last for per-student funding in Canada, which in turn has caused the highest tuition fee hikes in Canada, high ancillary fees, ever-growing class sizes and universities that are run more like businesses than institutions of higher learning. In short, we pay for more and get less. And then there’s the debt. Undergraduate students graduate an average of 27,000 dollars in debt.

Even a look at these outrageous statistics does not properly communicate the fundamental problem with skyrocketing tuition fees. The vast majority of Canadians would agree that education should be accessible to anyone able to “make the grade”. Why? Because if education becomes a privilege reserved for the wealthy then there is little chance of the underprivileged having any say in our Canadian society. In short education is a prerequisite for a functioning democracy.

The question remains whether we are at the point where people are being denied education based on their own, or their parent’s, income level. Certainly the federal and provincial governments are quick to point out the accessibility of OSAP, scholarships and grant programs. The “Drop the Fees” campaign argues that the research is available for us to effectively answer this question. Students from wealthier families are 5.6 times more likely to attend post-secondary education then low-income Canadians. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, “40% fewer students from low-income families attended the University of Guelph” after the dramatic tuition fee increases. With 70% of job postings requiring one form or another of post-secondary education (combined with the loss of our decent paying manufacturing industry) what does this mean for the well being of lower income wage earners in Canada and what effect is it having on our Canadian democracy?

Although there is little talk about remedying the grim situation on Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park, the Canadian Federation of Students sees light at the end of the tunnel. In Ontario, the McGuinty government’s “Reaching Higher” education initiative is set to expire this year. There is hope that a new plan can be formulated, one in which students’ needs are taken into consideration. The CFS states that “the government has promised to review the system, but we are tired of students not being put first. This campaign is intended to empower students, families and allies to have their say and demand a new plan for the post-secondary education system.” Judging from the action of all Ontarian governments in recent memory it would be naïve to think that any progressive change will come without massive mobilization on the part of the students. Events such as the November 5th “Day of Action to Drop Fees” are integral to making our voices heard. In order for change to happen there needs to be a starting point. The CSA and the CFS are hoping that November the 5th initiates a united and committed movement to build an education system “based on access, equity and fairness”.

The November 5th action will take place at noon in Branion Plaza, and will consist of a march to downtown with a rally at 1:30pm. For more information please contact the CSA External Commissioner at

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  1. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 29, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    Sorry Drew, if I'm spending so much on classes, I'm certainly not going to skip them.

  2. Posted by: on Oct 30, 2008 @ 9:38pm

    Dear itshardtopost:

    Actually, the Academic Provost has written a letter to all faculty and lecturers encouraging them to grant academic amnesty in order to enable students political participation. Just talk with your prof ahead to figure out how to catch up.

    To address the ideology behind your comment though, the Day of Action is not *just* about what is happening to the ability of those students already studying at Guelph and across the province. November 5th and the DROP FEES campaign is part of a larger movement that is based in the fundamental agreement that education is a right not a privilege. In fact, Canada has even made this commitment in the UN Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights. And so the Nov 5th Day of Action is not just about easing the increasing amount that we are paying for our education, but part of a larger demand for a truly public post-secondary system in which people can study no matter what socio-economic background they are starting at.

  3. Posted by: Jared on Oct 31, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Please, don't sacrifice the collective good upon the altar of your individual gain!

  4. Posted by: George on Oct 31, 2008 @ 1:43pm

    If we are really concerned about the high cost of education being a debilitating factor for some students not being able to attend school, then our efforts should be for those students alone to ensure their costs are covered.

    Reduced or free tuition will encourage the other students to become lazy, not watch their personal budgets, and neglect trying to work during the summer. There are others truly in need though, for whatever reason, say they have pricey medication bills or have to help support their parents.

    Let’s subsidy the needy; not the lazy!

  5. Posted by: Carlito on Oct 31, 2008 @ 2:14pm

    The CFS...what an utterly useless organization...nothing more than Shiny pins and minor inconveniences to politicians. How's that years-long campaign to lower tuition going guys? A bang-up job there, for sure.

    I wonder if students realise how much money the CSA and GSA (i.e. the students) pay to the CFS each year? I guarantee there's much better use for those funds.

  6. Posted by: George on Oct 31, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    Agreed. I also challenge the CSA, for every %'age they protest tuition fees should be reduced, students fees should be reduced the same.

    Since I have been here, my student fees have gone up over 14%:


  7. Posted by: itshardtopost on Oct 31, 2008 @ 5:25pm

    Good point, Carlito; and how much of that money we pay to the CFS is going to fund frivolous BS like this?


    I think the CSA should set an example and cut the fees that we, as students, are paying them to zero! Otherwise, this is all just hypocrisy.

  8. Posted by: suck it up on Nov 3, 2008 @ 12:29pm

    Why shouldn't people have to work hard for their education. I had to work hard to get the marks to get in. I had to work hard to maintain my marks here. I'm a full time student with a 30 hour a week job and I volunteer my time elsewhere. Sure I feel sorry for those people in financial need but,I'm in the same boat and somehow, since I want this education so bad, I've found a way to make it work. I also want to know what these countless protests have done for us as students other then wasting resources. If people spent half as much time working as they did complaining about tuition fees maybe there wouldn't be so much need for money

  9. Posted by: suck it up II on Nov 3, 2008 @ 2:11pm

    I love when students max out their osap allowance only to spend it on beer and electronics, then bitch and moan about how much debt they have.

    I also love when I see the parking lot full of student cars, as if gasoline and insurance is free these days. Whenever I ask why don't you take the bus using your mandatory bus pass? it's because the bus is below them/for losers/it's scary.

  10. Posted by: itshardtopost on Nov 3, 2008 @ 2:40pm

    While you do have a point, I can't say that I personally know too many people who are in massive debt and also own a car. Anecdotal though.

  11. Posted by: Allie Autumnlee on Nov 3, 2008 @ 11:19pm

    Statistics Canada reports that youth from low-income families are less than half as likely to participate in university than those from high-income families. For some, working hard is not enough to get to university. Congratulations on finding "a way to make it work", but tuition fees effectively put post-secondary education out of reach for countless individuals, many of whom you will likely never encounter in your privileged lifetime but have more to offer to post-secondary education then we will ever know. "Financial reasons" was overwhelmingly the most frequently reported barrier to university and college for high school graduates in Canada who never participated in post-secondary education.
    In 2005 students in Quebec won back grants cut by the government through student rallies, demonstrations, and strikes. Protests have historically done a lot more then "working" has.

  12. Posted by: Rosa Luxemburg on Nov 3, 2008 @ 11:26pm

    The Federal government budget of $490 billion for military spending over 20 years is enough to eliminate tuition fees for 109 years.

    In Ontario, fees will rise around 4-8%, and have previously risen about 4 times the rate of inflation. If you can afford tuition and the cost of living right now with your wages, congratulations. Not everyone can or will be able to. Also, not everyone is eligible for OSAP. This includes but is not limited to international students who are paying around 200%-300% more then domestic students.
    The cost of tuition, residence fees, and other related fees bar a large portion of our population from getting an education needed to earn a living. You're likely getting more bang for your $358.42 student organizational fees than you have thought about.

  13. Posted by: libertarian on Nov 4, 2008 @ 3:37am

    i would say i'm getting less bang than my $358.42 in student fees. i don't use the bike shop. i don't use the food bank. i don't use the A.C. i listen to BBC radio online and not through CFRU. so on and so forth...

    you could argue some people DO use the food bank, for example, and are grateful that it exists. but how often do they use it? more than $358 worth? they can buy a whole lot of groceries on there own for that! i would also be able to increase my own standard of living quite a bit (by $358 to be exact) if i didn't have to pay student fees.

    student groups are another example. people who participate in such groups may find it enjoyable, but why do i need to fund them? couldn't they fund the group themselves (and then some) with the student fees they pay now?

    and then you have the administrative costs of all this! whereas club members would assemble voluntarily and fundraise themselves, students are forced into paying staff for their work.

  14. Posted by: libertarian_2 on Nov 4, 2008 @ 3:38am

    ...tell me, where in the CSA manual does it say that the Central Students Association may take, by force, from me, my money to use for their (and the ones closest to them) own purposes?

    if you were to let students decide how to spend their own money you would find a more willing, more free and happy student population than one that is forced into living under a (mild) dictatorship.

    we know money does not create wealth or added value. labour is what creates wealth. and given the chance to act in their own best interest (opposed to sacrificing themselves for others) people will be more willing to create wealth for themselves and others. the CSA does not stimulate this process, but inhibits it. and it is about time we realize it!

  15. Posted by: patty_hearst on Nov 4, 2008 @ 4:21am

    volunteers are needed on november 5th to congregate at branion plaza at 12pm (noon) to support the "drop student fees" protest.

    for years the CSA has increased the student fees it collects from students at the university. on november 5th, let your CSA know how much you disapprove of this practice.

    feel free to arrive early and make some noise! friends will be made and good times will be had!

  16. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 4, 2008 @ 4:43pm

    Just to clarify a few things.

    The CSA does not force people to give us their money. We have referendums each year during the general election which ask the student body whether they would like to pay for something or not. This is because we are a union.

  17. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 4, 2008 @ 4:44pm

    The university has raised tuition this year by $100 each semester because provincial funding is not sufficient. Someone who started university this year will be paying approx $800 more than someone who graduated last year, and that is only if it stays at $100.

    If you want to address tuition fees in a meaningful way I suggest you aim you "campaign" towards those raising your tuition in a undemocratic process.

  18. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 4, 2008 @ 4:57pm

    To reply to the "libertarians". Please notice that the largest sums of money we collect are directed towards the universal bus pass and the student health plan. It is important that students have a health plan during their years here. If you do not use the bus pass, you are one of very few students.

    Also, we do not collect fees for "the ones closest to us" but to run services for students and staff to run those services. That is where a majority of our money goes. If we did not have staff we could not run services and I'm sure a lot of students would be upset if both their health plan and their bus pass were canceled.

  19. Posted by: George on Nov 5, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Arden

    From what I know, and correct me if I’m wrong, the university increases tuition within the allowed limits set by the provincial government. The government is an elected democratic body. Therefore, tuition is increased through not an “undemocratic process”, but a democratic one. I don’t necessarily agree with the increases, as you don’t, but that doesn’t mean you can claim it is undemocratic because that’s just a false statement.

    I think annually, or bi-annually, the CSA should propose a referendum question asking if we want to continue paying our CSA student fee at the current rate. It’s hardly fair for the CSA to say a referendum question that passed many years back saying students at the time supported a CSA student fee should apply to us.

    Arden, what are the numbers of students who do use their bus pass and those that do not? To simplify so you don’t have to research this too much, how many students pickup their bus passes and how many do not?

  20. Posted by: Chris on Nov 5, 2008 @ 3:13pm

    Saw lots of designer clothes at the 'protest' today (all 50 people). Hmmm...wonder where all that tuition money went.

    You know, instead of spending hours planning and attending protests, why not go out and work and pay down that loan sooner? What a concept. EARNING what you want.

    Higher education isn't a right. I set myself up, through my own work, for a debt free undergrad degree. I'll bet if you idiots spent more time working and less time whining you'd be debt free too.

  21. Posted by: suckitup on Nov 5, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    thank you chris, someone who finally sees how rediculous these protests are. I found the protest loud and obnoxious. I mean I think the AWL setup at the cannon made more of an impact then the csa and its too bad that a shitty protest like the reduce tuition fees shamble likely drowned them out. Like I said before and like Chris said, stop whining and moaning and work for something you want.

  22. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 5, 2008 @ 4:49pm

    To address the "democratic fashion" that tuition is raised. Tuition fees do not seem to have a end in sight. How "democratic" is it to run on a platform to freeze tuition (Dalton McGuinty)and then end the freeze only to let tuition fees rise rapidly again?
    How democratic are broken promises? We need to see some leadership from the provincial government before I will call them "democratic" Liz Sandals would not even speak to us today.

  23. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 5, 2008 @ 4:53pm

    Also to address the "clothes" issue. It is quite obvious that to make such a statement you have never spent time with any person who comes from a low-income family. You can get a lot of clothes that "look designer" at Food Banks and Value Village.

  24. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 5, 2008 @ 5:04pm

    To address the "whining and moaning" statement. There were A LOT of students who work at this protest, and there were A LOT who could not make it because they had to work. Personally, I work 60 hours a week and won't pay off my $25,000 student loan for many many years, as it collects interest. It is actually IMPOSSIBLE to make enough money to pay your student debt or pay tuition in Ontario during the summer. Many students don't get paid much more than min wage, and that isn't enough to pay for education, food, housing etc for two semesters. It can't be done. So basically, you are asking us to stop protesting and work an impossible amount of hours. Great. Great advice. Maybe you should tell that to the 100 students who use the CSA Food Bank PER WEEK. I'm sure they would have a lot of respect for someone who told them to "stop whining and moaning."

  25. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 5, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    To answer the bus pass question.

    This year we handed 15,539 bus passes during the distribution period. This number doesn't include the many students who came to pick the pass up at the CSA office during the days following distribution. I'd estimate with those student, we handed out just over 16,000. There are 17,000 undergrads on campus. I think I can safely say the bus pass is used by a majority of students who pay for it.

  26. Posted by: libertarian_3 on Nov 5, 2008 @ 11:12pm

    i'm arguing the CSAs student fees (as well as tuition fees) prevent students from obtaining a post-secondary education. however, as member of the CSA the executives actually have the power to effect change with student fees! i find it hypocritical for the executives of the CSA to champion tuition cuts yet find it damn near impossible (heaven forbid) to cut student fees! the CSAs student fees act as a tax on education just as much as tuition itself. any economist knows that by decreasing the tax creates an incentive for students considering attending university. but the CSA would rather divert attention away from that fact. this is why they host protests like the one today against tuition fee increases.

  27. Posted by: libertarian_4 on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:16am

    perhaps i should make a habit of stopping by the food bank. i mean, who knew the idea of a free-lunch existed!

    i agree with george and chris, but i go one step further. i believe the CSA should freeze student fees and mandate they be reduced year over year. each division within the CSA should rely privately on funding for their operations or at least partially. if the CSA found room for just $100 of cuts, more students would reconsider enrolling in university. it would be great if tuition were free, student fees were free, but they are not.

    however, if i'm a poor student considering attending university and find it impossible to do so financially do you really think i care if a bus pass is included in student fees? if i'm a poor student then i think i would rather walk to school and keep the extra $62 per semester knowing i'm at least in school, walking than in school with debt and riding the bus (when, for example, i could have brought my bike from home anyway. coincidentally this is one example of how the CSA reduces freedoms-by taxing us and distorting our natural incentives).

  28. Posted by: libertarian_5 on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:18am

    along with an $83 athletic fee per semester, plus $46.51 per semester in "student services undergrad", and $32.17 in CSA fees per semester, $8.50 in bio sci college government fees, $6.45 for radio gryphon-undergra, etc, i find it ridiculous. you could look at each fee individually and tell yourself it's not much. but it is the dozens of individual student fees that add up.

  29. Posted by: libertarian_6 on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:21am

    add to this the fact the CSA is a very inefficient machine regardless of how much money we pay... if we pay it, they find a way to spend it. past CSA executives did great things such as the bus terminal, and energy retrofit. but settling claims with life-choice isn't exactly something to take pride in. protesting tuition fees yet not seeing any results isn't either. introducing a co-cirricular transcript, which outlines student accomplishment when we already have a resume workshop and coverletter workshop is redundant. what are the important decisions the CSA makes these days? one thing they voted on last year (without a referendum) was giving themselves a 15% pay increase.

    you write, "many students don't get paid much more than min wage, and that isn't enough to pay for education, food, housing etc for two semesters. It can't be done". do you really think student fees do more good in this respect or more harm?

  30. Posted by: suckitup on Nov 6, 2008 @ 9:03am

    Arden if you're working 60 hours a week and not getting anywhere financially, I think it's time to find a new job. And to the emphatic impossibility that paying for school over the summer months is I say bull. A person can work during the summer and pick up a few hours during the school year and be perfectly stable. It`s when priorities like wasting time with the csa and frivilous spending take over the means to an education that people run into trouble.

    I also like what libertarian commented on. In all your bickering and bantering, what has the csa accomplished this year. The ISA issue, pro-life, and now this. It seems like the csa is full of a bunch of idiots. Thank god, people like Joel and Christi add the aspect of legitimacy to such an organization

  31. Posted by: Carlito on Nov 6, 2008 @ 9:39am

    It's funny how after a certain point, all the clearly conservative folk (I'm not conservative, just anti-hippie (I hope that wasn't 'oppressive' language), even if they're university age, start to sound like crotchety old men.

  32. Posted by: George on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:21pm


    With all due respect of the CSA’s capabilities to hand out bus passes, I highly doubt you handed out 16,000 bus passes for the 17,000 undergrads on campus. Perhaps you should review the tracking sheets of the distributed bus passes a bit closer.

  33. Posted by: George on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    We’re not asking you to stop protesting, we’re just suggesting there are better means…such as earning your way and supporting the ones that are in true need. The ironic thing about everything is that at the end of our university careers, while you and your posse spent your energy protesting fees, I was out earning my way through university and gaining truly valuable work experience. Likely, in such a competitive market, I will be the one with a great job at the end and not struggling to pay off $25,000 in student loans while working a 60-hour per week dead-end job.

    I still think the CSA should challenge the government to create better programs to identify students in TRUE financial need (i.e. those 100 students using the food bank weekly) and not campaign frivolously on behalf of all students for tuition reduction since a large majority of us don’t need it.

  34. Posted by: George on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Arden, you make this too easy,

    You’re the local affairs commissioner on the CSA, I shouldn’t be the one telling you that last Fall there was a provincial election. McGuinty was re-elected by the people of Ontario. His platform last Fall did not have a promise to freeze tuition.

    If people of Ontario were really upset that he let tuition rise after freezing it during his first term in office then they shouldn’t have re-elected him. There is nothing undemocratic about any of this, I’m sorry there just isn’t, so you have to stop touting how undemocratic things are.

    If you were protesting Liz Sandals constituency office, likely she didn’t talk to you because she was in Toronto, working in Queen’s Park. Don’t you know that MPP’s don’t work day-to-day in their constituency offices?

  35. Posted by: suckitup on Nov 6, 2008 @ 1:09pm


  36. Posted by: aqlirfungvq on Nov 6, 2008 @ 6:56pm

    After a few at the taps, I started making out with my girlfriend in the clubs area on the couches. Unfortunately it was ruined by CFRU playing very annoying chinese radio. How about instead of keeping the radio station on and burning money, turn it off at 5 o'clock when all the imaginary listeners go home and pass on the savings to the students.

  37. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 13, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    Thank you George.

    I am aware that there was a provincial election last year. You didn't have to tell me that.

    Perhaps you should keep in mind that there seems to be a lack of interest in voting from young people. I would attribute this to broken promises and a dysfunctional electoral system. Canadian, ages 18-24, are the least likely to vote and probably did not contribute to the Liberal win. So, though university students did not choose McGuinty as their leader he continues to let tuition rise 4% faster than inflation. Yes, I would still argue that this is not democratic. As long as the "first past the post" system determines our "leaders", I would say the tuition framework is not democratic. The tuition framework is due to expire at the end of 2009. I have little doubt that the McGuinty government will raise the percentage higher than 5%. And you ask me not to be concerned about that?

  38. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 13, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    Also, George, why do you doubt that we handed out 16,000 bus passes? We handed them out over 5 days, with a dozen staff from 9am-6pm. It is actually very easy to keep track of that. It is called "subtraction." Crazy.

  39. Posted by: fail on Nov 13, 2008 @ 4:58pm

    Hey, you know what else would be awesome? If we had a referendum twice a year on whether or not to pay income tax. It would totally work! And then we wouldn't have to pony up for all those welfare queens getting their fancy "healthcare" and "roads"

    Further, I'd like to hear another 40 complaints about the hundred-and-thirty dollars the CSA collects. It's practically 5% the total cost of tuition! If we just run the entire CSA, CFRU, the Ontarion, the bus pass, and every student government into the ground, and then do that 19 more times, we'll be (almost) breaking even in school!

    What are we waiting for?

  40. Posted by: Wow. on Nov 13, 2008 @ 5:31pm


    I would also like to hear another 40 complaints about the 5% of tuition that the CSA collects. You know Libertarian, George and Suck It Up, you sure are dedicating a lot of time to complaining about students fees. Shouldn't you be using this time to go study or work three jobs to pay for the 95% of tuition the University charges? You've probably spent more time on this site complaining about that 5% than a lot of students spent preparing for the Drop Fees campaign.

  41. Posted by: Robert on Nov 13, 2008 @ 8:00pm

    George this is no dig at you, but I wanted to address something you mentioned earlier.

    I find that your arguments and opinions are not taken quite seriously when you added personal attacks into them.

    Arden may work 60 hours a week, but this is not a dead end job. She works extremely hard dealing with transit, committees, the university, and helps facilitate numerous activities.

    The atmosphere that has been generated at this University since its inception has been because of dedicated individuals who inspired others.

    This job may not pay you $100,000 or even get you promoted to Chancellor, but it provides invaluable service to us (students), and community members. To consider this a dead end job is an insult to the university, and to each one of us. Not to Arden.

    I hope to see your views and opinions, but I'd also like to see it remain respectful.

  42. Posted by: Willy03! on Nov 14, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    don't mean to burst your bubble arden, but csa executives are elected in a "first-past-the-post" system, so i guess you don't think the csa is democratic then...odd coming from someone who is on the csa!

  43. Posted by: FAIL on Nov 14, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    Oh snap, arden!

    Will03! (if that IS his real name) gives the lie to your preposterous criticisms of McGuinty. As we all know, every year at Guelph, the students are split into 107 different groups, each of whom elects a representative on party lines according to the FIRST PAST THE POST "Fasci-ystem", the plurality of whom are then offered the opportunity to form a government by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

    Just like the CSA. Stop lying through your burst bubble.

  44. Posted by: Don't Make me Laugh on Nov 14, 2008 @ 7:00pm


    I'm sure I am not the only one to say, huh? What are you even talking about? It may help if you hop down off your pedestal and speak in terms where people may actually understand what you are trying to say.

    I find it interesting that you say the CSA should stop lying through their "burst bubble". I'm not quite sure what that burst bubble might be, but I am amused when reading your "oh snap" because I thought I was about to read something meaningful and insightful.

    The CSA must be doing something right because the only criticism I've ever seen is never any place but in the comment sections here which is anonymous text.

    Get involved and make a difference, OR continue writing something that really does nothing.

  45. Posted by: Sarah Palin on Nov 15, 2008 @ 12:55pm

    To all those who wish to abolish fees... without the cannon who would listen to your little rants?

  46. Posted by: libertarian_7 on Nov 16, 2008 @ 11:02am

    re: don't make me laugh

    i think fail is using sarcasm.

    re: sarah palin

    perhaps the cannon could get off my ass and start selling ad space on their website.

  47. Posted by: libertarian_8 on Nov 16, 2008 @ 11:12am

    re: don't make me laugh

    when you mention... "continue writing something [here] that really does nothing." i hope you weren't serious. writing on here is what has allowed me to organized my thoughts and give strength to my convictions. primarily, that the csa and pork-barrel spending projects often go hand-in-hand. just take a look around at the next annual general meeting.

  48. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Nov 16, 2008 @ 8:56pm

    Yes, CSA execs are elected with a first-past-the-post system. I will be the first to admit it is not a great system, obviously. However, I am not raising your tuition 5% each semester once elected. As "fail" stated above, the CSA collects 5% of you tuition, but we do not control a lot of that. We work with about 9 of the fees collected. Nor do CSA execs decide on the referendum questions that increase student fees. It is almost always a dedicated group of students who get together and run referendum questions to fund student projects.

    What I find frustrating as a student is the fee we pay for the UC. The UC was paid for by students, but we only control one floor. Students also continue to pay $12 a semester for maintenance of the building. University Admin who use the building do not pay $12 from their wages, yet they benefit from the UC. I find that extremely frustrating.

    Thanks to everyone for contributing to the conversation. This will be my last post. I'm going to get back to my job.

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