Mount Allison students deserve a refund

Why should we pay for education we didn’t receive?

Mount Allison University (Photograph by Andrew Tolson)

Mount Allison University (Photograph by Andrew Tolson)

Professor Todd Pettigrew recently wrote on this website that tuition rebates should not be offered after faculty strikes but I disagree. Why should we have to pay money for classes we could not attend and an education we did not receive?

As a Mount Allison University student, I can vouch for the fact that most of the students I know believe we deserve a rebate after this semester’s three week strike similar to the rebates that were offered to University of New Brunswick students after a three week strike there ended in January. Our semester was extended for a total of three days meaning there are 12 days unaccounted for. Honestly, it seems as if we were expected to just pretend there wasn’t an increased amount of pressure on us as we tried to scramble through course material and cancelled midterms that were suddenly scheduled back to back after the professors returned on Feb. 17.

After the strike, I learned a lot of things about myself, including that I can function successfully and write a midterm with four hours of sleep. The crunch was on and students are still feeling it, even now, during final exams. Students are visibly tired, anxious and stressed, and though that is common this time of year, it is worse because of the strike. We came to university expecting to work hard but we did not expect to have to cram a semester’s worth of education into such a condensed period of time.

Mr. Pettigrew wrote that students should not stop being students simply because of strike. I completely agree. I know for a fact that I, my friends and my classmates tried our best to keep up with readings and other work while the strike was on as professors recommended. However, when we do not have access to lectures or professors, comprehending dense readings is difficult. I came to university to be taught, not to read a textbook and try to teach myself.

The term “enhanced services” has become basically a joke amongst most Mount A. students. The library and other academic buildings are being kept open longer as a result of the strike, but it is not exactly helpful to be cramming at the library until 2 a.m. instead of sleeping. There are other services like increased academic and wellness support offered and this is noted and appreciated but no amount of enhanced services will make up for the lost time. I still feel cheated.

I want to make it clear that I do not regret my decision to come to Mount Allison. I love the town, the campus, the friends I have made and the classes I attend. Mount Allison allows me to experience a university while remaining in a close-knit community that feels like a family the moment you arrive.

That said, I’m extremely disappointed that students were put last on the list of priorities—below making professors happy with their paycheques, maintaining a balanced budget and upholding the reputation of one of Canada’s best schools. The administration of this school advertises on the website that students are “more than just a number.” The lack of a tuition refund suggests otherwise.

Leah Tucker is a first-year political science student.


Mount Allison students deserve a refund

  1. Completely agree!!!

  2. I totally agree with you Leah. It is hard enough for these young adults to go through a regular university year let alone dealing with a strike. I think that the university should regard what these young adults went through and how they dealt with the workload….Mount A, you are shaping our future with your students, maybe some empathy should be given to them after what they went through. And on another note, the cost each student pays for towards an education….give them a break. Maybe if everyone rallies together, we can get these kids the break they need….sure would help them in the long run….
    Great article Leah….I am proud of you.

  3. Great article Leah, really sums up the ordeal students have been put through.

  4. It is true in the eyes of the administration we are more than just a Number, we are a Dollar Sign. I came to the school for more than just the small town feeling and or the feeling that comes with a small university. I came to Mount Allison for an education. An education that we the students have paid for, and to lose three weeks of it is bad enough. Whats worse is that we are paying for it, not only in a monetary sense but in the stress that it took everyone to catch up on the time lost. Hours of sleep lost, and for students taking exams sleep is needed to succeed. On top of it the Administration says they want to improve services, why would they need to be improved this year? We are number one are we not? Don’t get me wrong there are things that do need improving and if they said they were going to spend the money on fixing the fumigation hoods in the Fleming Building I’d be more ok with not getting my money back. No I am not a science student. But they are not doing that. So why deny us the money that is rightfully ours, would you go to a restaurant and order a steak and a salad and expect them to give you just the salad? No, you expect to get what you pay for. Well we students were given less than what we payed for and we want a refund. If it wasn’t for the faculty I do not think I’d come back to Mount A. So in the future if the teachers go on strike I am going to make sure that I join them, because it is them who care about the students not the administration. While I do not speak for all the students I hope that at least a few have the same sentiments as I do.


  5. As a UNB student I have to disagree with your statement that you went to university to be taught. The best professors lead us to the information and help us understand the content, along with passing along procedures for writing etc., but they are not here to teach us. The professors are employed primarily to do research. We are in university to teach ourselves the material and how to learn.
    Also, did your professors do nothing to lessen the blow of the course content crammed in to less time? Ours certainly did. In each of my five courses my professors went to the trouble of trying to reduce the extra stress brought on by the reduced time available. Even something as simple as ascertaining when your other midterms were happening and trying to schedule around the bulk of them would, I’m sure, have been much appreciated by you.
    Thank you for the article.

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