TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - Late yesterday afternoon, students at the
University of Toronto filed an urgent application asking the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice to stop a flat fee proposal from moving ahead. The
application -- which has been filed by the University of Toronto Students'
Union and by Colum Grove-White, President of the Arts and Science Students'
Union -- argues that the vote held at a recent meeting of the Faculty of Arts
& Science Council ("FASC") to impose a flat fee tuition on incoming full-time
students in the Faculty, was conducted improperly and is therefore invalid.
The application is also supported by an affidavit from a faculty member who is
a voting member of FASC.
Students, faculty, and community members have identified numerous flaws
with the idea of setting a flat fee for full-time students - regardless of the
number of courses they take. Prior to the FASC meeting on April 6, 2009, which
had been called to consider the Faculty's proposal to impose flat fees, it
became clear that there was significant opposition to the proposal. At the
last minute, the University introduced a revised proposal for consideration at
the meeting. It is this revised proposal that ultimately passed. The students
argue that the introduction of the revised proposal did not follow the proper
procedure required by FASC's Constitution and By-Laws.
"We are very disturbed about how the meeting unfolded, specifically the
surprise change to the proposal circulated at the meeting with no notice from
the Dean," said Adam Awad, one of two students who have filed affidavits in
support of the application. "It is troubling that the University did not
follow its own rules in order to rush through the flat fee proposal".
"It was obvious that the Faculty of Arts and Science community wanted to
review such an important matter more carefully," said Colum Grove-White,
student representative and ex-officio member of FASC. "When I tried to raise
questions about procedure at the meeting, they were swept aside. We feel this
is highly problematic, especially given the controversy around the
introduction of a flat fee."
For further information:
For further information: Adam Awad, Vice-President University Affairs,
University of Toronto Students' Union, (416) 823-2672; Colum Grove-White, Arts
& Science Students' Union President and Faculty of Arts & Science Council
member, (647) 838-1409