Volume 95, Issue 69

Tuesday, February 5, 2002
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Psychic: Sinal will win USC election

Let the ass-kissing begin

Pride Awareness Day hits UCC atrium

Wall of debt - much nicer than the Berlin Wall

Hot for teacher: Amy Gehring not guilty

Rebellious youth thumb noses at disease

Cops prevent biker rumble at fair grounds

Wall of debt - much nicer than the Berlin Wall

By Uroos Rizvi
Gazette Staff

Instead of burning bridges, the Canadian Federation of Students has taken to building walls.

Students from the CFS and Western's Society of Graduate Students raised a Wall of Debt yesterday in the University Community Centre to spread awareness about increasing student debt.

The event was organized in collaboration with various student organizations at Western and is one of many planned events leading up to this Wednesday's national Day of Action.

The Wall of Debt is associated with CFS' countrywide campaign, which is in effect for the first time this year and is aimed at encouraging federal and provincial government support for tuition freezes at universities across the country.

"We got about 50 people or so to sign the wall of debt and by our calculations, we are somewhere near one million dollars in debt," said Jesse Greener, VP-external of SOGS.

"Even though the motion at Senate [to grant academic amnesty for Feb. 6 student protesters] got defeated, the students have the support of the faculty as seen by the motion of support recently passed by the faculty association," said Andrew Touw, a second-year medical student and spokesman for the Medical Education Task Force on Tuition Accessibility.

During the erection of the Wall of Debt, organizers invited students to sign a petition encouraging the provincial government to implement a tuition freeze.

"Over 2,000 signatures are on the petition and we are planning to reach over 5,000 by Wednesday," Touw said.

"There are a lot of students participating in the organizing committee planning for the Day of Action," Greener noted.

"I am applying to graduate schools and I won't even apply in Ontario because the tuition is outrageous," said Mark Poos, a fourth-year biology student.

Poos, who says he is $26,000 in debt, said he thinks the Wall of Debt is a great chance to raise awareness. Students have to take an initiative to voice their opinions, he added.

The Day of Action protest in London will include a march downtown to the office of Dianne Cunningham, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002