Volume 91, Issue 90

Thursday, March 19, 1998

Howe 'bout it


Stop the insanity!

It seems as though the battle by students against tuition hikes has gone from somewhat ridiculous tactics to absolutely ludicrous – bomb threats were issued Monday at two different New Brunswick universities.

Students across the country have used various techniques to attempt to stop schools from raising tuition rates for next year but as it gets closer to the time when universities will be announcing the new fees, more and more laws are being broken and students are looking worse and worse. The latest in the extremely radical and totally ineffective efforts at keeping rates low has crossed the line between protesting and dangerous stupidity.

At the Université de Moncton, a note was hand-delivered to the administration's office on Monday, stating that two bombs were scheduled to explode. The note said increasing tuition fees will not be tolerated by students and the threat resulted in a cooperative effort by the administration and RCMP to evacuate the entire university.

Having your voice heard by protesting plays an extremely important role in our society and there are very effective ways of doing this – none of which include, however, threatening the lives of people. And this happened not only at the Université de Moncton but at St. Thomas University as well, where students were evacuated the same day because of the threat of people being killed – killed because students don't want to pay more money for their education next year.

Sure, the increasing costs of tuition is not something that should be taken lightly and Board of Governors at universities and colleges should be constantly hearing the student voice emphasize that hikes are unacceptable, but this voice should not involve tactics that waste the time of the RCMP and countless others whose schedules were disrupted.

The more radical tactics are not specific to the East Coast. At York University, students shook the car of the university president, vandalized oil paintings of former presidents and caused huge disruptions to a Board meeting there. What did this accomplish? Well, it got them on the news. Maybe they'll be able to show the tape of it to their grandkids (who will probably be paying about 10 times more in tuition fees than now) and explain to them why breaking the law did nothing to stop fees from rising. Although, it might explain the bars on the window and the armed guard at the gates of the university!

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Copyright © The Gazette 1998