SU pulls out of tuition consultation

By Anne-Marie Bruzga

The Students’ Union has voted to pull out of tuition consultation with the University of Calgary administration. The decision was made at Tuesday night’s Students’ Legislative Council meeting where council voted 14­1 in favour of withdrawing from the consultation in an attempt to stop a maximum tuition increase this year. The resolution was moved by SU President Paul Galbraith and seconded by External Commissioner Rob South.

"We don’t believe that a legitimate consulting mechanism has been established at the university with students through their elected student representatives," said Galbraith.

University Vice-president Keith Winter was disappointed that the SU decided to withdraw.

"I’m certainly sorry that that’s the path they are taking," he said, adding that a consultation committee had already begun work this year.

South echoed Galbraith’s sentiments.

"For years on end, the university has used the consultation process as a form of lip service to students’ needs, when in fact, they’re just dictating to students," said South, adding that students suffer due to high tuition.

"High tuition is killing a lot of campus life," he said. "A lot of students are missing out on a big part of their university experience because they don’t have time or money to participate in extra-curricular activities."

The only person who voted against withdrawing from with the consultation was Academic Commissioner Lisa Snead.

"I support SLC in the decision," said Snead. "I’m concerned with the method; it’s just a little risky. I don’t want us to be disregarded in future negotiations."

Details of the withdrawal are still unclear.

"We will be giving more formal and complete reasons for pulling out of tuition consultation at a later date," said Galbraith.

"I look forward to hearing from them," said Winter. "We’ve always had an excellent working relationship with the SU and I look forward to maintaining it."

Despite its absence from the consultation process, Galbraith promises that the SU will continue to represent students in the fight against tuition increases.

"We plan to fight the university tooth and nail to either establish a mechanism that addresses our concerns, or to not pursue tuition increases of any kind this year," he said. "I want to make our students realize how strongly we feel about our duty to stand up for them and fight for their interests."

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