Volume 91, Issue 63

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

grape vine


Silent but deadly

Re: OSAP reduction

To the Editor:
"Excuse me, this doesn't look right to me. I thought I was supposed to get $2,000..."

"Hold on a sec and I'll check it for you."

"Says here you were approved for $3,800 total. You got $3,000 in September, so that leaves $800, see?"

'Hmm... That doesn't seem right.' I thought to myself. 'If I picked up 60 per cent of my OSAP loan in September and that was about $3,000, then the other 40 per cent should be about $2,000, not $800. My OSAP doesn't even cover the rest of my tuition!'

"I need to see a councilor, there is some mix up."

This was the scene about a week ago when I discovered that I had been silently "audited" by OSAP. With choices like: pay the rest of my tuition, pay my next month's rent, buy some text books or get some groceries, you can understand how I might have trouble deciding what to do with my last $400.

I had expected to have $1,200 right now, not $50. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered from a counselor at the financial aid office that the practice of silently "auditing" people and then reducing their funds was OSAP policy.

No letter, no phone call, no email, no public service announcement.... You don't even know it's coming, then BAM!

That's a good policy if I ever heard of one. I know a lot of students who can easily compensate for a $1,200 drop in income from week to week, don't you?

OSAP's silent but deadly policy stinks and if they don't cough up some more money for me to live on pronto, we can add the rotting corpse of my academic career to it's smell.

Garth Dahlstrom
Biology III

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998