Attacking the ATAC mindset

Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: “Tuition hikes and debt are a reality” Feb. 17, 2000

I would like to thank Sarah Deveau for expressing a viewpoint on the whole tuition issue which rarely gets heard. Mainly because those with this view point are more concerned with their studies and earning their degree than how much they are paying for it.

Post-secondary education is a privilege, not a right. I am not saying that only the rich should be allowed to attend, just that not everyone has earned the privilege of furthering their education. We live in a capitalist society, and the last time I checked, that means you have to work for what you want, that you don’t get every thing handed to you on a platter. Earning your degree is not just about the school work, it’s about the whole process.

It seems to me that groups such as the Revolutionary Anarchist Kollektive and the Alberta Tuition Abolition Coalition have difficulty with the idea of earning their degree. They would like to see their degrees handed to them by the government, in much the same way as their High School Diploma was handed to them. This does not mean that I do not think that a good post secondary education is important (if I thought that I wouldn’t be here), just that not everyone has earned it.

It bothers me that the members of RAK and ATAC are pushing harder for cheaper tuition and not for more scholarships for those who have earned them.
I know, in many ways, that I am lucky. My parents have always intended to pay for my undergraduate education (tuition and books, and food/clothing/shelter provided I live at home), but this does not mean that I didn’t earn it. I have to repay them by doing as well as I can in my studies. My parents are not rich, in fact I live in a single income family, so I know this isn’t easy for them and I try to help out as best I can.

Although many will probably say I am getting a free ride, I would like them to know that I intend to go on to future Graduate studies and if that means working to pay off a student loan, or taking a few years off to save up money to go to school, then so be it. In fact, I will be proud to earn my post secondary education.

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