In Response: "Board of Governors Chooses to Raise Tuition… Quite Seriously"
Monday, April 23, 20122 Comments
This is a response to a response. The original opinion written by Denise Martins can be found here. The response to that piece, written by Shamu Mosonyi can be found here. We would also like to encourage our readers to utilize the comment section below each piece as an equally viable response choice.
UPDATE: It has come to the attention of the editorial staff at the Cannon that large portions of this opinion piece have either been plagiarized or not properly cited. A large amount of material here comes from Shamu Masonyi's opinion piece. We apologize for the oversight, but as there is still an opinion in the article, we have made the decision to let it stand as is and merely warn the reader.
The Cannon Editorial Staff
I would first like to point out that our elected student representatives, Mr. Blais and Mr. Straathof, likely understand the fiscal situation facing the university through their participation on the Board of Governors, but to assume they know the cause and effects the situation has on students better than any other student is presumptuous, at best. The fact that both supported the tuition fee increase indicates to me that they must have had a compelling reason to do so, not that it was in the best interests of students. Both students are very capable and determined individuals, but that does not negate my ability as their constituent to challenge and question the decision they made on my behalf.
If less funding is going to be coming from the government, where will it come from? Will it magically appear? Will the Board of Governors wave a wand and conjure up an endless supply of cash? Or will they realize that they need to reexamine their priorities?
Decreasing tuition might result in forcing them to reexamine the priorities of the university. This might mean less money for the administration and less for the resources they currently have. Are large class sizes really what we want? Is it really in the best interest for Canada? For the world that this university educates us to defend and preserve? It would be quite unwise to risk playing with our quality of education.
“Have we truly reached the level of privilege in universities where we think that graduating 40k in debt just for a useless degree can be justified?” asks the author of the author of the previous author. No one is coercing anyone to obtain a degree, and it is certainly not useless, as a university degree has almost become the equivalent of a high school degree. It is expected of anyone who wants a career, not just a job. University graduates may earn $20,710 more per year than college graduates, $22,825 more than those in the trades, and $29,457 more than those with only a high school degree (Statistics Canada 2006), and these margins will only increase in the future as Canadian society continues to increase the margin between the haves and the have-nots. Will our education benefit only us, or will we also, in turn, use it to better serve the communities that created and sustained us throughout our lives and our university “careers”? Not to mention the amount that I have personally paid as an international student, despite paying taxes to in Canada and my home country, and my intention to establish permanent residency in Canada as soon as possible.
I would thus disagree with the author’s call to chastise the previous author’s call to “socially reprimand” our student representatives on the Board of Governors. What he might instead do is question our representatives and challenge the assumptions that he has made throughout his response to the original article concerning tuition fee raise.
Finally, I feel that the author errs in equating “less money for professors and less for the resources they require” with reducing fees. It is certainly one possibility among many. Quality of education received plays an equal if not more important role than tuition fees. As already highlighted, a university education can be a tremendous financial benefit to taxpayers and students in the future, if students realize their role in creating a more equitable planet He argues that he would “encourage the author to broaden her outlook and consult more broadly with departments and other service providers to understand how decreasing their operating budget would impact students”. What about how increased tuition fees will impact students, and those who wish they could be students but are prevented from such opportunities given the ever-increasing rise in domestic tuition fees at this university?
by: D. McManus