June 8, 2006

Where did I go: LiveJournal of course!

I have been busy informing on the McMaster LiveJournal Community about what is happening in the MSU.
Last Friday, I posted the following:
This is from the Silhouette today {Friday} (The Sil did not do any stories on tuition or the fact that Popham and crew did not show up to the Board of Governors Meeting where tuition was hiked)

It’s Your Money
– John Popham, MSU President
In March, the Provincial government announced that they would be lifting the freeze on tuition and allowing for limited increases across the province. At this point in time, the Students Union joined in response with the Ontario Undergraduate Student alliance, lobbying schools around Ontario to protest against the increases at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The MSU advertised, and promoted the rally to the student body. The turn out was limited to about 15 students from McMaster, and about a dozen students from other post secondary institutions. This disappointing turnout could have been partially due to its proximity to the exam period, but we have recieved little feedback on the issue.
In May, McMaster’s Board of Governors made an annoucement that they would be taking advantage of the limited tuition increase, by raising tuition across all faculties a total of 4.7 percent, just shy of the maximum allowable increase of 5 per cent. (At McMaster it was not mathematically possible to raise tuition to the highest allowable limit.)
Between the time of the Provincial Government’s announcement, and the University’s annoucement, there were very few students who approached the MSU with concerns. As students ourselves, we felt the initial announcement was unacceptable and that we would not stand for any rise in tuition costs. This prompted us to take action and hence why we held and attended the rally, but, after the poor turnout and the lack or response from students, we have been encouraged to take a step and back re-examine our stance on tuition increases. Perhaps, the majority of the student body is in favour of the tuition hikes, and understands the need for an increase to their yearly costs, or perhaps, they are in fact very against any increase in education costs. With our email inboxes void of complaints, comments and criticisms, any assumption on the rise in tuition becomes far too dangerous to make. Without the direction of our constituents, it is difficult to lobby one way or another, as we would not want to be misrepresenting those who have elected us.
Therefore, I write this today to seek the input of all students, whether for, or against the rising costs of tuition. It is important to make your point, and give us a chance to work for what our constituents want.
We have been actively seeking your input for the month we have been in office, and we will continue to do so to our fullest ability. There is still time to make a difference, there are still methods of lobbying the Provincial Government for a change and lobbying the University Administration.
There is also time to applaud each of these bodies for the hard work they have done with the tuition issue if it is that work you appreciate.
We welcome your input and look forward to representing your interests.

I will leave the rest of my opinion for comments later. The MSU has a tuition policy that was worked on by numerous students. You cannot get this document from the MSU website but someone gave me a copy. I have uploaded it here: MSU Tuition Policy
There was also the campaign promises of Mr. Popham when he was elected and received 1500 votes. That is a gauge of student opinion when he promised to work to stop any increases as part of his campaign promises.
COMMENTS AT LIVEJOURNAL: http://community.livejournal.com/mcmaster/286372.html