By Вen Li
Twelve to fifteen thousand dollars will be the cost of the Students’ Union tuition campaign this year, according to SU Vice-President External Nick Vuckovic. Starting immediately, the SU will host activities to raise awareness about differential tuition prior to the University of Calgary Board of Governors’ tuition decision on March 21.
“Now is the time for students to stand up and say ‘screw off,’” said Vuckovic. “This is our time to stop the differential tuition flood gates.”
The campaign begins at the end of the six hours of provincially-mandated consultation between U of C administration and the SU. Both sides have agreed to meet again should the university’s plans change. SU President Matt Stambaugh said they have reached some understandings with Dr. Ronald Bond, U of C VP Academic.
“We’ve had some minor victories,” said Stambaugh. “Grandfathering helps students already here, and they’ll probably have course- instead of program-based pricing.”
Unlike previous years, the SU participated in the entire tuition consultation process to more thoroughly understand the issues.
A keystone of the SU awareness plan is their ongoing Mullets Against Tuition campaign, which the SU hopes will culminate into the Mullet Republic, a tent city to be raised on campus from Mar. 17-21. Funding the campaign in this tight fiscal year will come at the expense of other activities, according to Vuckovic.
“All the exec had some extra money in their special projects budgets,” he said. “We all decided tuition was the most important project for students.”
Stambaugh hopes that the weekly events in MacEwan Student Centre and around campus will encourage students to join the SU in lobbying the U of C administration.
“We need almost a mass rally or the issue will die,” said Stambaugh. “Until we get a lot of students saying the same thing, the SU will be completely useless at fighting differential tuition.”