Students Furious Over Tuition Fee Hikes

Friday, March 10, 2006

Written by CSA

The provincial government announced the tuition framework for the 2006/2007 academic year earlier today. Each University and Commuity College will be permitted to increase their tuition fees by an average of 5% for domestic students. Students across the province have been campaigning hard in recent months in opposition to the end of the two-year tuition fee freeze and are extremely upset by this announcement.

Scott Gilbert, the External Affairs Commissioner at the University of Guelph's undergraduate student unions (the Central Student Association) says he and others on his executive are "furious" about the announcement and pledge to show their opposition in numerous ways, starting immediately.

"Tuition is already way too high in Ontario and this announcement will shut even more people out of higher education. This is unacceptable in a country with so much wealth, and that supposedly values post-secondary education", says Gilbert.

He went on to say that the Central Student Association has already been campaigning on the issue of tuition fee hikes and will step up the pressure. Tactics include a letter writing campaign to people like Liberal MPP Liz Sandals, College and Universities Minister Chris Bentley and University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee. He says plans for the coming days include a "day of action", a video petition where students can voice their concerns on tape, and a "wall of debt" that will be presented to the university's Board of Governors, the highest decision making body on campus.

"It is clear that our government is not listening to its students after numerous surveys show that over 95% of undergraduate students across the province are opposed to tuition fee hikes and polls indicate that over 80% of Ontario residents support at least continued tuition fee freeze" says Hannah Draper, Communication Commissioner for the Central Student Association.

"Students simply can't pay more. Students are already using food banks, working numerous part times jobs which detract from their studies, or moving to other provinces to complete their educations somewhere cheaper."

The CSA plans on meeting with as many local politicians and senior administrators as possible over the next few days to express their views and show how much distaste there is among the student body over this decision. The CSA is also extremely concerned about what will happen to international student tuition fees this fall, as the University of Guelph faces another budget defecit.

The Central Student Association represents over 16, 000 students at the University of Guelph.

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