By Maurice Cacho
Associate News Editor
Raising tuition fees is probably the best thing that could happen to Ryerson students since the arrival of President Sheldon Levy.
Now, from the top, I’ll admit that I don’t use OSAP, I’ve held two part-time jobs at the same time, I owe $426.11 to Ryerson and I owe almost as much on my VISA bill. Yet, I won’t mind paying around $200 more for tuition because I’ll see the results and receive a better product — a better education, that is.
According to our school’s president, the extra fees will go towards paying our profs’ salaries with inflation, improving our library’s holdings and having more than a kick-ass men’s volleyball team to be proud of. Plus, those in financial need will be able to get more money from grants and loans under the Liberal’s plan.
Essentially, this is exactly what happens in the United States. A report to be released next month says that although tuition is more expensive in the States, it’s more affordable to get an education because more financial aid is available to students. “People often assume the U.S. schools are so expensive because their fees are so high,” the Toronto Star quoted the report, “but the financial aid is often so high as well that education ends up being quite cheap.” So, raising fees sounds like a good idea.
Then there’s people, let’s call them tuition-whiners, who say the money should come from the government and not from students. Yes, that’s fair, but tuition-whiners must be forgetting something. Perhaps it’s the fact that the provincial government is currently running a deficit, which means it’s spending more money than it’s making. Maybe they could take money from other areas, say public transit, to improve education. So you could pay less for school, you won’t get to class.
And that’s why it bothers me to hear people complain about escalators in the library building that don’t work, expensive food at our food courts, crammed classrooms and stinky bathrooms. Our students’ union VP education said students got “hit very hard” with the announcement. Actually, I think it’s hurting us more to pay less and get a crummy education in return. An extra $200 will yield a great return on your investment. And the government helps by paying three dollars for every one dollar we pay in tuition.
If our instructors get raises in line with inflation, we can stop them from going to other schools that have more money to offer. Would you like to see Ontario’s best lecturer and Ryerson professor Arne Kislenko become York’s best lecturer? No, thanks. Levy also said Ryerson can get 51 tenured professors with the extra cash.
And if our library manages to increase its holdings, I won’t have to go to the Toronto Reference Library to do research for my essay. Lastly, if our sports teams had the resources to do better, more people would attend their games, building school spirit. Heck, maybe RSU president-elect Muhammed-Ali Jabbar would stay for a whole game rather than walking in, answering a call on his fancy cellphone, then leaving after about five minutes.
And let’s face it, if you’re one of those unlucky bastards (like me) earning minimum wage, working an extra 25.8 hours during the summer to pay the raise is not all that hard. Let’s hope tuition-whiners stop complaining so quality can go up.