Taking the Ontarion to task

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Written by Jenn Watt

Letter to the Editor:

I am writing with concerns regarding the article in the June 10-23rd issue of the Ontarion titled "University Changes Tuition Fee Schedule."

My first concern is journalistic tardiness. It was reflected in Daniel Oong's piece that the CSA has been challenging the tuition changes since May 13th of this year. All of our press releases and other information were forwarded to the Ontarion at that time. However, nothing appeared in the "student" paper until June 10th - almost an entire month later (several weeks after Guelph's non-student papers the Mercury and Tribune printed stories about the issue).

Once the Ontarion DID pick up on this news story, the final draft had inaccuracies and was misleading, which brings me to my second point. Many facts are askew in Oong's article and quotes/paraphrasing of the CSA's opinions are applied on a timeline that simply did not exist.

To summarize the problems as concisely as possible: (1) the university is not asking for full tuition in mid-august, it is only asking for a deposit; (2) the changes for the fall semester will not affect those using financial aid the most because those are the people who will be able to waive the fee, it is those who do not have "need" that will have to pay this deposit; (3) the CSA does not "remain skeptical as to the ability of SFS to meet the needs of all students." - we were not asked about this after the changes were finalized and we are actually quite confident that this fall SFS will be able to handle the load.

There are other issues, but sadly the word count does not provide enough space for the further clarifications. Needless to say, I am disappointed in the Ontarion thus far. Hopefully in the future it will be more responsive to pressing student issues and will try harder to reflect the facts accurately.

Jenn Watt

Academic Commissioner
Central Student Association

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