Another voice in the darkness

Re: “A Voice in the Darkness,” March 13, 2002.

While I respect Mr. Li’s opinions and welcome debate on an issue as important as differential tuition, I find he underestimates the anti-differential sentiment on campus.

Tony Blair has gone to war with only 35 per cent of his population supporting the attack. The differential tuition plebiscite question came back with an astounding 87 per cent of students voting against the administration’s proposal. My personal thoughts on differentials aside, it would be irresponsible for the Students’ Union not to fight so strongly against a proposal that 87 per cent of students disagree with. We have a duty to respond to students, and the direction they have given us is clear.

Those students that are in favour of differential tuition have had ample opportunity to have their voice heard. Running in the Students’ Union General Election, starting a campaign group around the differential tuition plebiscite question, or questioning our campaign in Students’ Legislative Council are all options that have not been exercised. Your article was a wonderful way for your voice to be heard as well.

I hope that Mr. Li does not continue to feel silenced by the SU, that is not our objective. We are fighting for a cause that a vast majority of students, and a large proportion of the community at large believe in. I truly believe in keeping post-secondary education fully accessible to all academically qualified students, as we have no right to price anyone out of the system. Differential tuition is not about different prices for textbooks, it is about closing the door on students at a time when education is more valuable than ever. The SU is not silencing anyone. It is simply taking a principled stand against a proposal and placing the focus and resources needed behind that stance. This is our year.

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