An open letter to you, from me your tuition

Dear Student Body,

This is just a little memo from your tuition loan to you. I just want to say that you have been really cool with what you’re doing with me.

You’ve proven that you are passionate about what you are learning, and that you don’t take me for granted. Sure, there are times when you go to The Den and spend too much of me on mini jugs of rum and coke.

Those drinks are not a waste of your money, you are exploring your boundaries and using alcohol as a creative vehicle for socialization. Spending a dollar here and there on booze is something I can forgive. In fact, I encourage it.

You are young, wild and free. Run with that. Listen to MGMT and do the No Pants Dance.

Enjoy it while you can brothers and sisters, because the next jug at The Den may be the last one you will be able to afford.

My dear friend Harvey Whine Garden is making his final bow at the end of the year and shit has been hitting the fan for some time now. His contribution to this institution is questionable. The involvement of the Alberta government even more so. Their recent announcement that they will break the promise of a tuition cap has all but broken me.

Never mind 2012, the end of the world is much sooner for the University of Calgary.

The construction cranes loom like vultures, waiting for the day they finally attach wrecking balls and make the imprint they’ve been waiting for.

You’re student agenda is littered with them. They are supposed to represent growth and change, but all I- your tuition loan ­- sees is a misallocation money, empty promises and a Students’ Union who vowed to fix it but has turned out to be no more powerful than when the Queen visited and they changed that boring ass drive to Edmonton to the QE2.

Fuck politics, fuck government and fuck money. I know that sounds weird because I am money; but honestly, if you want to learn anything from me- your student loan- it’s that I’m about as worthless as an Enron stock.

How many of you will finish your degree? How many of you will take a job in the field you are studying? How many of you will go to the bookstore and buy a sweatshirt that says “U of C” in college font and wear it with pride?

The thing that pisses me off about our relationship is that it is long-term. I was initially intended as a short-term fix that would help propel you to the next level in your life.

Instead- and I hate myself for this- I have become a long-term burden that requires some to take jobs they are not happy in, and second jobs on top of that.

I was originally meant to help foster a mind-expanding experience by taking on the role as worrier. I was the one that dealt with the dollar dollar bills, y’all. I was the one that was supposed to free up your mind so you could focus on things like changing the world. But lately there have been too many people harshing my buzz.

It’s a sobering thought when people you trust (presidents, governments) let you down.

I’m not here to make excuses, though. It is me who is going up. It is I who will cause you to stay inside just a little more, and maybe not sign up to so many porn sites this year.

I have no shame in my increase, for I know it is not me alone who has caused it.

In fact, as a friend and drinking buddy, may I be so bold as to suggest your apathy plays a role in the reason you will be paying more for tuition in the very near future?

I mentioned earlier how the Students’ Union is as topical as a Woody Guthrie song, and how the Alberta government is worse. Let’s not forget our boy Harv, kicking’ it on a beach sippin’ Patron while exotic monkeys groom his beard.

Let’s also not forget that you signed up for a relationship with me, and when you did so you took on a relationship with the establishment, no matter how powerful or powerless they may be.

So, as a friend, I am asking you to reconsider my value and what you want to get out of this relationship.

I have more friends who are looking to party. Plenty of colourful notes waiting to be used for mini jugs or Could-Be-Beef.

But these friends are easily persuaded and may bend to the voice that yells loudest.

At this point you might as well crumple me into balls, light me on fire and throw me out the window as you drive along the QE2 on your commute to Red Deer where your second job awaits.

Sincerely, your friend,


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