On the relentless tuition-raising shitrain

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From the desk of the bastard Editor

Oh joy, the student wallet is in for another vigorous raping. I approach this subject with fear, trepidation and general nausea. There is nothing so pathetic, so outright moronic and childish, as a campus newspaper badgering its administration to lower tuition levels.

C’mon, we’re all grown ups here. We know that the problems that create an ever-growing debt culture for students supersede any mere Ontario university.  The source of our troubles is the way the Ontario government does business.

We report in our paper this week that Ryerson is considering raising tuition levels by as much as $2,000 in certain deregulated professional programs (never mind the troubling notion that almost all Ryerson’s marquee programs could be considered “professional.”) Our insouciant president floated the idea like a bag of malignant swamp gas, and the obvious response was howls to protest, nail-biting and gurgles of terror. The wailings are so commonplace now after successive years of increases that our fatigue with this issue bears some thought and analysis.

In 1990, the average undergraduate tuition at Ryerson was $1,500; today it’s $4,600. Eek, numbers! Well, to make sense of this, let’s remember that a can of Coke today costs a buck, whereas 11 years ago I got 20 cents back when I dumped my loonie in the vending machine. If Coke prices went up like tuition you’d be paying three bucks a can today.

Welcome to Ontario, the land where the government doesn’t believe in governance and getting re-elected is all that matters. In this neck of the woods the government ethos is akin to mixing icing with vicious forechecking. Dump the puck down the ice and make the buggers scramble around like cattle in the run, and then if they recover the puck, clobber ’em with some enormous shitrain.

What we have here is this insane gap between what the Tories say they will do and what actually happens. The managerial effectiveness of this bunch of jerkoffs, who in two terms haven’t delivered a zero deficit despite a much-lauded lock on the fiscal responsibility vote, is astounding.

So we come back to tuition. The regime that is “accountable but not responsible” for Walkerton is similarly off the hook for the steady tightening of the financial screws on higher education. The Tories aren’t stupid enough to do it themselves. They merely create a deregulation formula and allow schools to raise tuition. So what if they cut the grants to universities and colleges at the same time, that’s incidental, right matey!

Can’t you just hear his smug oh-so-reasonable voice droning cruelties and lies while the 905 scoops it up. “And by the way, we want more technical programs at universities, we’ll pay specifically for that, but not for anything else. Knowledge economy buys, this will work for us long term. Faddish? Nah, trust me those computer whizzes will thank us later for making them pay top dollar for their degrees. It makes them appreciate sacrifice. I know about sacrifice, like when the mayor made me fly into Moscow only to watch that chia-pet midget fuck up the Olympic id, so don’t talk to me about austerity.

“And another thing, its not like the government gets to go bankrupt, so all you students don’t deserve bankruptcy protection either. My buddies at the bank, who told me they would be more effective at collecting on loans than those poisonous bureaucrats at OSAP, also tell me too many of you geeks seek the promised land of bankruptcy. So what if you need ever increasing loans to pay for the increased costs of living and tuition our policies are directly responsible for. Fuckin’ pay the vig or I’ll douse your nuts in oil ans light ’em.

– S.D.

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