SU View: Please speak up!

By Jen Smith

This year, the university is eyeing a 7.5 per cent increase in tuition, and if the government does not continue to fund last year’s tuition increase, both increases will be felt in the course of one year. It is important students make it clear to both the university administration and the government that such an increase is unacceptable.

So far, a number of proposals have been put forward during Alberta’s review of post-secondary education, including less positive ones such as fully deregulating tuition, and implementing income-contingent loan repayment schemes. Such initiatives would be detrimental to both accessibility and affordability, and would fail to recognize education as a social good, instead identifying it as a commodity students should pay full price for.

Fully-funding the first two years of a student’s post-secondary education will lead Alberta on the path towards genuine equality of opportunity for all Albertans. This idea is something that requires significant public support, so if this is something you believe in, I encourage you to contact your MLA and Minister of Advanced Education Dave Hancock, as well as local media with your feelings.

Right now, the significant debt load that many students are forced to incur in order to finance their education intimidates many high school students from attending university in the first place. This initiative will ease those fears. I believe Albertans will be more likely to attend, and complete, post-secondary education if this idea is implemented, provided it is properly funded and that other issues such as deferred maintence are not ignored.

On October 20th, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Minister of Advanced Education Dave Hancock will be participating in a public forum on post-secondary education in the north courtyard. This is a good opportunity to ask him questions, and to tell him your opinion, so I hope many of you make it to this event.

October 24th to 28th is Political Action Week. A speaker series, film fest, debates, and workshops have all been planned, aimed at encouraging you to become more well-informed and mobilized on issues that affect you. Events include an activist workshop, a lecture by Paul Wells, and even an appearance by the ‘Raging Grannies.’ Check out the advertisement in this week’s Gauntlet for more details.

If you would like to become more involved with the advocacy efforts of the Students’ Union, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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