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In Tevendale We Trust

by Archives February 5, 2008

Concordia is up to its eyeballs in debt, the students are paying for it, and no one seems to care. Maybe that’s why Concordia has started tacking on late penalty’s and monthly to people who don’t pay their tuition on time. The CFS, ASFA, and the FEUQ are trying to engage and inform students where all their money is going and what the government is or isn’t doing to help universities in this province. But if the turnout at last week’s conference on tuition is any indication, students really don’t care about where their money is going, or how much more we might have to pay in order to alleviate the massive burden that is Concordia’s debt.
Less than 100 people turned out at last Thursday’s conference on tuition in the Hall building. Of the 30,000 plus students who take classes at Concordia, how is it possible that so few people care about something that affects us all?
Concordia owes the bank almost $500,000,000, and in 2007, about 50 per cent of all tuition fees paid by students went towards paying interest and bond-fees on that debt.
We’re in a big hole here, and it hardly seems fair to me that it should be we, the students, who have to take on this debt. If one of the only reasons that student tuition has gone up is to pay off interest on borrowed capital, it’s high time the government should step up to the plate. Instead of the provincial government giving $900 million back to the taxpayers, they ought to invest in the future of this province. Quebec’s Liberal government needs to prioritize social services rather than tax cuts for the province.
CSU President Angelica Novoa said after the roundtable that she was frustrated at the low turnout. She said that it was aggravating to see such an important cause go unnoticed by the student body; she also said that ASFA had done a ton of promotion for this event, putting up posters all over the school and talking to students about why this is important for them.
Since Novoa mentioned that she finds these consultation tactics have not yielded positive results, maybe it might be time to go back to the drawing board. If we don’t mobilize in order to defend ourselves from being the sole bearers of the ever-popular “mountain of debt,” no one will.
So where do we go from here?
At the end of the conference, one student got up and scolded the student groups who were speaking at the conference, saying that they squander the thousands of dollars we give them to mobilize students on issues such as these. What else do you want them to do friend? They’ve held rallies and conferences for the sole purpose of getting students organized and up to date on why we’re faced with a tuition hike.
But there’s always one thing missing, us, the students.

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