Election time and student action

By Mike Bosch

Well, it is election time again; On November 22, 2004 Alberta will be voting to elect a new provincial government and students may be asking themselves: what is the point? Alberta has had the same government for 30 some years and unfortunately, for University of Calgary students, the provincial Tories haven’t been friendly to our institution, at least not in the last ten years. Despite their commitment to Alberta’s future, reduced provincial funding in post-secondary has brought our university to a state of cutbacks and poor national ranking.

My thought is that Alberta’s future lies in the hand of its people, people that should be educated and educated well. It must be too obvious to see that there is a problem with Canada’s worst ranked big university being in the wealthiest and fastest growing city in Alberta, Canada’s wealthiest province? This just goes to show that in a city where everything always seems to be going great that even the worst is possible and that the worst is now an official reality for the University of Calgary. As a student I think the quality of education is fairly good here at U of C but it’s hard to believe that MacLean’s could put us ten to fifteen places from where we should be; in the top five. After all, our students do have some of the highest high school averages for admittance, and oh yeah; this city has tons of cash and all the new jobs require degrees.

Students have two options; to either elect a new government or to change the priorities of the government that we all expect to be in power. Given the two options, students must get involved, be active in events around campus, especially those that attract media and most importantly they need to VOTE.

On Monday November 8th the Students’ Union began its media campaign on behalf of all undergraduate students at the U of C. Our campaign began with television commercials that can be seen during prime time programming on CFCN (check them out on our web site), and then over the past week we initiated Political Action week, which is running all of this week. The message in all of our educational materials is that our institution has been grossly neglected, that Calgarian’s and Albertan’s deserve better, that Alberta’s future depends on the education of our people and finally that young people need to VOTE.

The range of activities for Political Action Week included a political film festival, student and candidate forums from Calgary Mountain View and Varsity, a political fair, a day of action and a soup kitchen. I hope you noticed the hundreds of students around campus wearing black t-shirts that say “Rich Province- Broke Student” in support of our efforts to ensure that the poor state of post-secondary education in Alberta has been a political issue. Please vote for education next Monday.

The SU View and its corresponding headline are products of the Students’ Union. It is printed without editorial revision and does not reflect the views of the Gauntlet Publications Society.

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