$1 billion question
The federal government has announced yet another plan to alleviate student concerns. It comes in the form of the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Endowment Fund, a scholarship program for university and college students with a billion dollars in resources, slated to take effect in the year 2000. That means that for those students feeling the economic stranglehold right now, well, there is always the Ontario Student Aid Program.
The fact that the plan is scheduled to take effect in the year 2000, so close to the next federal election, is of course pure coincidence. By next year, it is estimated the average student will have over $25,000 in debt. While we greatly appreciate the pains the government has to alleviate this problem (such as sitting through Wednesday's Throne speech), The Gazette wishes to propose a few amendments to the recent announcement:
1. The institution of the Current Reality Clause which would allow money to be given to needy students now, so that they may study while they are still young.
2. The adoption of the Mandatory University Education Clause which would require every provincial Education Minister to have been through the university experience, thereby better understanding what is relevant to students. NOTE: This would bypass the Mandatory High School Education Clause which just replaced the Manditory Kindergarten Clause
3. The inclusion of the Harassment Leniency Clause which would attempt to reduce the amount of pressure governmental organizations exert upon financially-needy students who have failed to find gainful employment after leaving University.
4. The ratification of the Pay Interest Until You Die clause which would grant an even longer period of time to pay back those government loans, to make student lives "easier". (With a higher rate of interest, of course.) This may also be used in conjunction with the Surprise Inheritance Proposal which would extend unpaid monies and interest to future generations.
5. Extending the institutional responsibility of student funding to include Mastercard and Visa, since both bring an excellent record of interest rates, debt collection and dependency. This could also be inter-related with a Tuition Fee Travel Miles Program (for every dollar spent or borrowed) or the Buy Four Years at University and Get One Free Clause.
It seems the economic future of students in the next millennium is secure by the federal Liberal's initiative. Students at university today should ask the government a question: what about us?