Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are we all a little too hypocritical?


Scrolling through the various University of Toronto groups on Facebook, posts like these are just about everywhere. Although I agree that tuition is high, especially as a management student that has to pay 14k in tuition a year, I’ve never shared this sentiment on Facebook. Perhaps it's because I feel somewhat guilty about not doing anything about the problem in the first place.

It all started when I was watching a Drop Fees demonstration last year -- it was kind of saddening to say the least that the only students in the Drop fees rally were ones in SCSU and the total number – maybe 10 or 15. To make matters worse a recent Drop Fees event was held in the IC last week and only about 10 or 11 people showed up in attendance, whereas about 100 seats were layed out. It looked cold barren and empty. A tumble weed rolling through would have been a nice special effect, if you catch my drift.

That’s when I realized that perhaps we are more hypocritical then we realize. We all complain about tuition being really high but when there is a chance to do something about it -- nobody shows up to actually try to make a difference. Now I am no different (I didn’t go either…), so I decided to research what this Drop Fees thing was really about and fill in for you guys that may be interested but are just misinformed.

Here is what Drop Fees sets out to accomplish (taken from the SCSU website):

·         the progressive reduction of tuition and ancillary fees at public post-secondary institutions across the country, including reduced post-residency fees for graduate students;
·         the elimination of differential fees for all students (professional, out of province, and international students);
·         the development of a dedicated cash-transfer payment guided by principles set out in a federal Post-Secondary Education Act for the purpose of reducing tuition fees and improving quality of teaching, learning, and research infrastructure at colleges and universities.

So while I was talking to a friend about Drop Fees, he told me that there really was not much we could do anyways after the 30% grant had already occurred, and that the government is not planning to do anything else for a while. Also, that the only students that seem to have trouble paying off tuition are those with arts degrees (eg. Anthropology, English and Sociology) who can’t find a job after a graduation, and that it is their fault in the first place (words taken from my brown dad’s mouth). Although I don’t endorse this sentiment (Arts students please don’t plan a revolt against me!) it is nevertheless an interesting way to end my blog post.

So do you think that Drop Fees will really help in dropping tuition? Do those with arts degree have problems finding decent jobs after graduation and thus can’t pay off their tuition, or are people in other fields just as likely? Comment Below!

Till next time, Take Care,

Romana Tariq :)


  1. Hey, don't feel guilty about not doing anything about it. The thing is, because Ontario students pay the highest in the country, we have too much on our plate to be as involved as we would like. If you look across Canada, the students with the most campus engagements are the ones with the lowest fees. When students have to take on a job or two, it's hard to come out to these kinds of things. But that doesn't mean that it is nothing we can do about it.

    Right now the Ontario government wants to change aspects of Post-Secondary education to make it cheaper for them to deliver it. But already because both students and faculty and admins have been vocal against these changes, the government is rolling back. Also, this year the tuition fee framework (the one that let tuition fees go up to 71% in the last 6 years) is up for review, so that is something the government is planning to do that directly impacts the amount we pay for school. So now more then ever our voices need to be heard.

    On the last point, it is not about just graduating with a huge debt (about $37k avg for students, which almost all student have trouble paying, since its so hard to get a job nowadays) but also about students wanting to get in. With the up front barrier of fees getting worse and worse every year, either students who can't afford to take it on will choose not to attend uni, or pick a cheaper program/faster program and not what they are interested in studying. Which is not fair to a 18year old whose choices they make then will impact them for the rest of their lives. But ya, it's good to see people writing about it, and if you have any more questions or ideas shoot me an email at

    - Guled Arale, VP External

  2. As lupe says.. "Thinkin’ protests are temporary and trendy, we'll rock a t-shirt and carry a poster and two weeks later it’s back to normal"


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