This working group was struck at the first University of Toronto General Assembly.
Report-back to the general assembly from break-out session:
Member: I’m a first year, so I’m just being introduced to these issues. We talked about what we wanted, which is now in Europe, which is free tuition, free education. I’m seeing some disagreement and some thinking that’s not possible. But it’s a long-term goal, and we’d like to achieve something more practical, as some of our group members emphasized. One person in our group had to juggle three jobs, and couldn’t pay tuition for a full course load. That’s absurd. My dad, 20 years ago, couldn’t pay the application fee. I had to pay $475 in application fees to apply to Ontario universities alone. Given this, tuition fees are affecting quality of education and accessibility to education very heavily. In short term, we propose to form a sporadic group action and letting awareness to the other campuses as well as the general public. In the Long term, we want to acknowledge the presence of professors here today. Their support is needed as a key to our success. Students are known to voice themselves, and we’re often ignored. If we have concrete evidence (like writing an essay) so our professors are our support. They would like to pass down knowledge to us, not to see students be inhibited by that opportunity. So I’d like to ask professors, staff and administration who support free education to come support us, and eventually we can voice against those who oppose free tuition and education.
Minutes and approved motions from the second general assembly will be added within the week (before 03/08/11).
The University Fund
The University Fund is a big pot of money that all of the Schools at U of T pay into. Professional schools at the U of T (e.g., Dentistry, Rotman, the Law School, etc.) pay a little and get a lot back; the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS), UTM, and UTSC pay a lot and get almost nothing. The schools that are focused on undergraduate teaching end up funding the professional schools, but are made to take the biggest hits and cuts in their programs of study when budgets are tight. In other words, undergraduates at FAS, UTM, and UTSC help pay for the degrees of future CEOs and lawyers! Is this excellence”? The U of T is indebted to the undergrads, yet it makes them pick up the tab!
For more on the University Fund see the University of Toronto Faculty Association report: