By Jeff Beer
The upcoming national student day of action got some action of its own last Tuesday as Ryerson’s academic council overwhelmingly passed a motion to support the Feb. 6 event.
RyeSAC v.p. education Alex Lisman said the passing of the motion was significant because “it shows the faculty are willing to take that step (to support the day of action), and it’s a big step.”
The academic council is composed of faculty, students and Ryerson administration members.
“This gives us another piece of confidence that we have broad-based support for a successful day of action,” he said.
The national student day of action is organized by post-secondary institutions across Canada, along with the Canadian Federation of Students.
In the past, the protest has helped raise government awareness of university issues, and ease the financial strain on students. From day of action 2000, Ryerson students were able to get another two-year freeze on unlimited tuition increases (deregulation) for most Ryerson programs.
This year’s day of action is seen as especially important because it marks the end of the two-year freeze unlimited tuition increases granted after the protest in 2000.
“It’s going to take a lot of student participation, because the (deregulation) freeze is thawing,” said Lisman, who cited the delay and eventual stop to deregulation as one of the top priorities of the protest.
The councils’ strong show of support follows an earlier gesture from the Ryerson administration. On December 20th, Ryerson v.p. academic Errol Aspevig sent a letter to the Board of Governors, RyeSAC, and CESAR, supporting the day of action.
Aspevig has granted academic amnesty for students who participate, meaning there will be no academic penalties for missing class, assignments, tests, or labs as a result of taking part in the protest.
“Support from (aspevig) is really important because it allows people to participate, and by that (he) acknowledges the extent of the issues,” said RyeSAC president Odelia Bay.