Angela Davis and Ward Churchill join the campaign to Stop Flat Fees at University of Toronto

TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - On Wednesday February 2, Professors Angela Davis and Ward Churchill signed the petition calling on the University's administration to cease using flat tuition fees in all programmes and to join students in lobbying for adequate public funding for post-secondary education. Davis and Churchill, speaking at the keynote address of the University of Toronto Students' Union's eXpression Against Oppression week (XAO), were clear in their support for the campaign to Stop Flat Fees.

"We shouldn't even have this conversation about flat fees because there shouldn't be fees at all. Education should be free!" said Davis.

In 2009, the University of Toronto administration approved a new fee model for the Faculty of Arts and Science, whereby students would be charged for five courses, even if only registered in four, causing these students to pay upwards of $260 more per course than their peers. The fee model was approved in spite of wide opposition from students, staff, faculty, and community members and a recommendation against implementation from the University's own committee tasked with evaluating the fee. The fee structure is set to return to a vote in the spring of 2011.

"Flat fees punish students who take less than five courses and ignore the realities of students with families, with disabilities, who work, or who want to get involved on campus. They are an unfair and sneaky way of increasing tuition fees," said Maria Galvez, U.T.S.U. Vice-President, University Affairs, "Students are not money bags."

Petitions against the fee are being collected across campus over the next two weeks. The Flat Fees Coalition meets every Monday at 4:00pm in the lobby of the Sidney Smith building on campus. Students, staff, faculty, and community members are encouraged to write to the Dean of Arts and Science, Meric Gertler at meric.gertler@utoronto.ca to voice their opposition.

SOURCE University of Toronto Students' Union

For further information:

Maria Galvez, Vice President University Affairs, 647.404.7494, vpua@utsu.ca

Danielle Sandhu, Vice President Equity, 647.986.2586, vpequity@utsu.ca

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