Election could mean zero tuition increase

By Ruth Davenport

Provincial elections mean speeches, posters and perhaps no tuition increase for everyone.

"The fact that this is an election year means that the government does not want protests, [and] the government does not want students that are unhappy," stated Drew Brown, undergraduate representative for the Board of Governors. "It’s imperative that people come out to protests, [and] to the [Jan. 31] Town Hall meeting, and show that they’re not going to accept an increase again this year."

In the wake of the Planning and Financial Committee announcement that a 3.7 per cent tuition increase will be recommended to the BoG on Feb. 1, Students’ Union officials are stressing the importance of student voice.

"At this point, if in terms of student awareness, [if] we don’t do anything, we’ll lose momentum," said SU Operations and Finance Commissioner Heather Clitheroe. "If nothing happens this year, the momentum for next year will be lost and once you’ve lost that momentum, it’s a long time before you can pick it up again."

SU President Toby White agreed. "The most important thing is to come out to the Town Hall on Jan 31 and challenge administration. Make them defend that number, and, if it’s not adequately defended, students should make their voice heard."

The Town Hall meeting will be held in the MacEwan Hall Ballroom at noon on Jan. 31.

"With the Conservative government heading into an election and trying very hard to maintain their stronghold, this is the time to say that underfunding is damaging to students and damaging to universities and the qualities of our institutions," stated Clitheroe. "That’s why it’s so important for people to get out and be present at the
Town Hall and to fill the galleries at the Board of Governors meeting."

The BoG meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Thurs., Feb. 1 at the Dinning Centre.

"I would certainly encourage students to go to the meeting," said SU VP External Duncan Wojtaszek. "It’s a public meeting and students are certainly welcome to watch the process of their tuition being hiked."

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