The following editorial is in response to an Eyeopener article that corrected the RSU’s stance on the new Liberal tuition grants. The Eyeopener stands by this story.
Open letter to the members RE: Eyeopener article falsely accusing the RSU of misleading members
On Wednesday, November 23, the Eyeopener ran an article that falsely accused the Ryerson Students’ Union of misleading members about a tuition fee grant promised by the provincial government. The article asserted that RSU has been lying, despite the fact that we have been using the information provided to us by government in our campaigning. The Eyeopener did not provide any evidence to support their claim.
The RSU has a mandate to advocate on behalf of our members and has worked to educate students about the negative impact of the proposed Liberal grant. Additionally, we have met and are working with the new Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Glen Murray, to highlight student concerns and to propose alternatives to what’s been planned.
Students in Ontario pay the highest tuition fees in the country and are forced to take on record levels of debt to complete their studies. Facing an election, the Liberal Party promised to reduce tuition fees by 30%.
Their plan? A grant, to be released in January 2012, that will leave most students empty handed. Part-time students, graduate students, students struggling with their grades and students who have taken time off after high school to work are among those who are not guaranteed to be eligible. Students in professional programs will also be barred from the grant, a designation that varies from university to university and has no official definition according to the Ministry.
Students have been betrayed. The politicians that are in power today had the benefit of an affordable public education that could be paid for with the earnings from a summer job. After years of cutting funding to universities and colleges and forcing us to make up the difference, these politicians offer us complicated schemes that pit students against one another.
Now more than ever, students need to be united in holding our governments accountable. We have the potential to turn bad policy into a meaningful action to address the staggering financial barriers students are struggling with.
Your Ryerson Students’ Union Executives