Rally against tuition hits Concrete Beach
By Angela Marie Denstedt
FIRST SIGNS, AND IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, ARMAGEDDON.
Western students rally around the battle cry of “Reduce
Tuition Fees” on the Concrete Beach yesterday.
The Canadian Federation of Students joined forces with several
other student groups to hold a rally voicing their concern
over future tuition hikes in the University Community Centre
“Over the past 10 years, tuition fees have increased
in Ontario and students are graduating with debt,” said
Anne Escrader, VP-external for the Society of Graduate Students.
Debt is not only a large, current problem, but it is also
becoming a deterrent for future students wanting a post-secondary
education, Escrader explained to a crowd of approximately 40
students, adding tuition funding cuts and inflationary increases
are wrong and cause too many problems.
“If these [tuition] trends continue as they are right
now, it is really going to be threatening the accessibility
of post-secondary education for most people,” said Andrea
Browning, a first-year scholar’s electives student at
Huron University College and an organizer of yesterday’s
“Accessibility is the key; education should be a right
rather than a privilege,” Browning said, adding trends
by the provincial government — such as privatization
of education, deregulation of tuition fees and commercialization
of university education — are major factors in the tuition
problems that have developed over the years.
“One-hundred per cent of high school [graduates] should
have the chance to receive a post-secondary education, and
right now this is not the case,” said Albert Katz, president
of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association, adding
that faculty members were on the side of students. “It
is important that students keep their feet to the fire about
the cost of having an education and the threats to make it
even more expensive.”
As the rally progressed, several organizers handed out pieces
of paper for students to sign their name and current accumulated
debt. The pieces were to go into a ‘tomb of debt’ and
be presented to Western President Paul Davenport at a later
“A First World country like Canada should not be charging
students to go to school,” said Isabella Oftega, a fourth-year
media, information and technoculture student.