TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - On Monday, November 17, students began a peaceful protest, setting up tents on campus as a response to the university administration's reluctance to meaningfully engage with students regarding issues surrounding tuition fee increases and academic departmental budget cuts.
Since October, the Ryerson Students' Union and the Continuing Education Students Association at Ryerson and volunteers with the Student Action Committee have collected over 5,000 petition signatures calling on Ryerson University to:
- Progressively reduce International Student tuition fees to be in line with domestic students
- Place an immediate freeze on tuition fees, and join students in calling on the provincial government to allocate more funding to post-secondary institutions
- Commit to a more accountable budgeting process by working to better consulate students in developing a budget that does not include a tuition fee increase or academic departmental budget cuts
- Meaningfully increase student representation on the Board of Governors (including part-time and distant education students)
It is our strong belief that the university administration's role on campus is to prioritize access to education and foster conducive learning environments for all students on campus. Over the course of the last nine years, we have seen consistent increases in tuition and cuts to academic departmental budgets. In a province where we already pay the highest tuition fees in the country and receive the lowest per-student funding, students are finding it increasingly difficult to be able to afford the high cost of education. This is becoming more apparent as we see more students taking on multiple minimum wage jobs, accessing services like on-campus food banks, and taking on multiple public and private loans to afford education.
Since students have started camping out in front of Jorgenson Hall over 24 hours ago, we have yet to receive any communication from the administration to discuss these items. It is regrettable that the group of concerned students that have been camping outside supported by the 5,000 students that have signed onto our petition are being ignored, and having to continuously reach out to the administration to discuss these issues. We are calling on the university to meet with us, in good faith, to discuss how we can work towards meeting these demands. We would like to emphasize that the students engaging in the tent city action will not be leaving until we have received commitments from the university administration to work towards meeting these student needs.
Members of Tent City
Ryerson Students' Union
Continuing Education Students' Association at Ryerson
The Ryerson Students' Union is the central students' association at Ryerson University, representing over 30,000 full-time undergraduate and all graduate students.
Image with caption: "Students living in a tent city at Ryerson University calling for administration to freeze the fees. Students can’t handle a 10th consecutive year of tuition fee increases (CNW Group/Ryerson Students' Union)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141118_C2619_PHOTO_EN_8255.jpg
SOURCE: Ryerson Students' Union
For further information: Jesse Root, Vice-President Education: 647-782-5519 (cell) or [email protected]