Volume 93, Issue 88

Thursday, March 16, 2000


Protest was silent, but misguided

Education not material commodity


Cold as ice

Cold as ice

To the Editor:
An open plea to all students, senators, Board of Governor members and administration:

After being at this, the greatest school in Canada, I have seen many changes come and go. One constant, however, is that tuition levels continue to rise at a phenomenal rate.

These are some of the facts: 82 per cent of Ontario residents oppose tuition increases at post-secondary institutions, said an Angus Reid poll released March 2, 2000. According to the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, Oct. 5, 1999, "Students give 134.2 per cent [more than in 1989] – after 10 years of continuous tuition increase students demand a break."

Students now pay upwards of $3,800 per year, according to StatsCan, for tuition in a general arts and science program. Programs such as medicine can now cost $11,000 per year for tuition. Currently, tuition fees make up 39 per cent of the operating revenue at Western. According to The Gazette, March 3, 2000, Ontario ranked last out of 10 provinces in terms of educational funding per capita.

The obvious solution to the problem is a tuition freeze as well as an increase in per capita funding of Ontario universities to the national average. The province of Ontario and the administration at Western must realize that students should have a reasonable obligation to pay.

Western's annual budget is coming out within the next few weeks. This is a perfect opportunity to talk to your student senators as well as faculty senators and announce that students wish to follow the role of schools such as Sir Wilfrid Laurier University – which, evidently, has a tuition freeze. Students at Western want and demand a tuition freeze.

Clearly, administration must realize that raising tuition is not the right answer. Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic, commented in the March 3 Gazette that the government has withdrawn public financial support, "universities are forced to raise tuition because we need to get those funds from somewhere." Clearly, bleeding students dry is not the answer, there must be other ways for funding, other than an increase in tuition. Please with all your heart, give students a break.

Mike Werenich
King's College Councillor
Political Science and History IV

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Copyright The Gazette 2000