UVic students plan tuition boycott
By Marshall Bellamy
When paying tuition really gets to you, just stop paying -
that's what they're doing out West.
The University of Victoria Students' Society is planning a
tuition boycott, said Joanna Groves, director of finance for
the UVSS and chair of the committee planning the boycott.
According to Groves, the decision to begin planning the boycott
came after a positive response from a similar tuition boycott
held at Simon Fraser University and to provide an outlet for
students to protest against rising tuition. "All the details
haven't been worked out; its still in the planning stages," she
Over the last year, tuition fees at UVic have risen 30 per
cent, Groves said, adding the university's Board of Governors
decide on matters pertaining to tuition fees and they are appointed
by the provincial government.
"The biggest goal we have is that the provincial and federal
governments will listen to students - although that's a pretty
big goal," Groves noted.
The tuition boycott which occurred at SFU starved the university
of its operating budget, said Geordi Dent, member services
officer for the Simon Fraser Student Society, adding the university
senate passed a bylaw about the two per cent/month penalty
for late tuition on student bursaries. "The money did not even
go back to the university," he noted.
Dent pointed out approximately 1,400 students signed up with
the SFSS for the boycott. "I can tell you a lot more did [the
boycott]," he added, noting there may have been as many as
3,000 students involved.
"For the first time the university president said if the province
funds the university, tuition will not be raised," Dent explained,
noting the boycott also forced SFU to award more bursaries
and the resulting media coverage put pressure on the provincial
government to change its tuition policies.
Dent said he hopes there will be similar boycotts in the future
involving thousands of students from universities and colleges
to press for a change in tuition policy.
"We've never thought of doing this sort of thing," stated
University Students' Council President Paul Yeoman, adding
the circumstances are different in Ontario than in British
Columbia. "These tactics aren't necessary if we're looking
at good news stories in Ontario," he said.