Editors, the Gauntlet,
This is a response to Robert Granger’s uninformed article in last week’s Gauntlet. He falsely accused RAK of being, "clamorous witch-hunters." He wrote this in reaction to what he thought was an unwarranted protest at the Board of Governors meeting. Granger’s insinuation that the BoG have no control over tuition and in fact, that these hikes are a necessary consequence of the provincial government’s lack of funding for education is misconstrued. While the provincial government does hold the purse strings, the BoG should be working along side students to strengthen the university’s stance on the quality and accessibility of post secondary education.
His implicit accusation that RAK sees the BoG as the only "bad guys" in the tuition battle is blatantly false. RAK and the closely affiliated Alberta Tuition Abolition Coalition have always been adamant that the provincial government needs to restore funding to post secondary education. While it is easy to pass the buck off to the provincial government, it is important not to let the BoG off the hook. The BoG has many problems that should be addressed, such as a lack of concern for student issues. This is linked directly to lack of democracy on the BoG. It is not accountable to students and those others affected by its decisions. This was one of the points of the protest that may have been lost.
Last year’s demonstration of student activism lowered tuition by 20 per cent, and made the BoG aware of student discontent. There was no reason to halt such activism this year or in years to come. Even if the BoG is not fully in control of funding, it is important that it represent the needs of students. These needs consist of working with students on issues such as quality and cost of education. The protest at the meeting was a symbol that students have not forgotten the spirit of last year and served as a reminder to the BoG that students still demand it give attention to our concerns.
Nothing is ever given away, it is always fought for. There are a fair number of students on this campus who think that accessible education is something that is worth fighting for.