By Vanessa Thomas
RyeSAC’s motion to freeze tuition received a chilly reception at last week’s academic council meeting.
The motion asked the council to endorse a tuition fee freeze for next year to the board of governors. Academic council instead passed an amended motion to keep tuition as low as possible, implement programs for students in financial need and lobby the government for increased funding.
“It was a good compromise,” said RyeSAC President Angelo DeLuca, “but I was upset that the original motion failed, because the issue of students paying more is the fundamental issue.
“I don’t need any more information than that, but unfortunately [academic council] needed to know where the money was going to come from.”
Marg Morriss, academic council’s representative chair for the faculty of arts, voted against the first motion at the March 3 meeting, but in favour of the second.
“To vote for the first motion would take away Ryerson’s flexibility in financial planning. Ryerson would be shooting itself in the foot to give up the little flexibility it has,” said Morriss.
“I have a lot of sympathy for students, but if the fees are raised it is through necessity. I don’t think anyone is happy about increasing fees.”
Gord Tanner, RyeSAC’s VP education, is not satisfied with the “watered down” motion, but said academic council’s discussion of finances sets a precedent.
“Our point was that [supporting a tuition freeze] is a symbolic motion,” said Tanner. “We were asking for their support to take a political stand on the issue of access to education.”
RyeSAC is inviting students to attend a meeting on March 30 at 4 p.m., right before the board of governor’s meeting at 5 p.m. Students will be allowed to address the board in an open meeting.
“It’s going to be very intimidating to present to the board of governors, who are established CEOs of corporations and deans of Ryerson,” said DeLuca.
“I need students to have really emotional testimonials. [Students] haven’t received as many privileges as people on the board, so they need to hear students’ difficulties on how to finance their education.”
The board will vote on the issue of increased fees at their April 27 meeting.