From lobby groups to enrolment, the university lowdown

By Daniel Pagan

UBC’s student government and CASA ended their relationship

Last week, the University of British Columbia’s student government, the Alma Mater Society, voted to sever its relationship with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, a national student lobbying organization, April 1, 2010. A CASA founding member, the AMS cited several reasons for leaving, such as less focus on AMS’ priorities in CASA, lack of institutional reforms and a desire to focus more on provincial lobbying efforts. The vote on the motion was almost unanimous, with only two dissenting councilors. Until April, their status has been changed from a full-time member to an associate member.

University enrolment up in shaky economic times

About 38,000 more students enrolled in Canadian universities this fall, compared to last year. According to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, this included 29,000 undergraduates and 9,000 graduates. The increase in grad students is due to universities increasing grad programs enrolment by 50 per cent. The dismal job market means more people need to get degrees, as the AUCC noted there were more than 60,000 new jobs created for university graduates compared to 390,000 fewer for those without higher education in the last 12 months. It is the biggest spike in enrolment since 2003.

Nude protesting is sexy

Several students in underwear streaked across Simon Fraser University’s Academic Quadrangle building last Tuesday to protest the funding cuts to British Columbia’s post-secondary education. They held signs and handed out about 600 pamphlets to create awareness about the cuts. One of the streakers, Jonathan Brockman, explained they did it to get students interested and understand what was going on. Last spring, SFU students, faculty and staff rallied and protested atop Burnaby Mountain in response to the provincial government’s budget cuts.

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