Volume 91, Issue 27

Thursday, October 16, 1997

Bored of Governors


100 per cent rebuttle

Re: The 100 per cent OSAP plan, Oct.3

To the Editor:

I am writing in reference to the letter published in the Homecoming edition of The Gazette about awarding OSAP on the basis of academic performance.

Let us briefly consider the meaning of the word aid. Aid means to help or support. Someone whose parents make $5 million a year will in all likelihood not need financial aid from OSAP. The fact is OSAP was created to help students who need help because they themselves, or with the help of their parents, can not afford to attend university.

Keep in mind the purpose of OSAP is to help students finance their educations. Forgiving loans to those students who graduate at the top of their classes seems stupid, when one considers the fact those students have a higher chance of getting a well-paying job (that they could pay their loans quickly with), while students who graduate behind them may struggle for months or years in search of any degree-related work while being hounded to pay back a loan they don't have money for.

I think it is unfair to punish students based on the fact they don't get the best of marks. Some of the most hard-working people I have ever met don't always see results for their efforts on tests and assignments, but I think these people are just as deserving, if not more so, of being given the opportunity (that OSAP helps provide) to try.

I am by no means opposed to rewarding academic excellence with money and recognition for students who do well. But I was under the impression that that was the purpose of something called a scholarship. I fully support scholarships and believe more money should be set aside for them.

I also know too well that university can be difficult to afford for students whose parents make too much money, but can't afford to help pay the costs. I come from such a family. I have financed two years of my education on private bank loans because my parents weren't able enough to support me.

Bottom line: OSAP does need reform, that is not in question, but there are things we need to keep in mind when we're looking at it. We need to remember the purpose of OSAP is to help those who can not afford university, not those who can afford it but want a discount. Secondly, there is a lot more to "wasting your time" at university than just academics alone – I think that 100 per cent OSAP would help more people to forget that.

Garth Dahlstrom
Biology III

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997