Gateway editorial: Recession, unions screw universities -

Gateway editorial: Recession, unions screw universities

The federal budget has something for everyone but students, are students getting anything from their lobbying dollars?


An excellent editorial in the University of Alberta campus paper The Gateway this week questions if students are getting value for their federal lobbying dollars:

But what’s perhaps more disappointing than the lack of results from Mr Flaherty for Canadian students is how small of an impact their pleas have actually made. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) exist for this sole purpose. So when the U of A Students’ Union rushed through a motion in council over the summer in order to budget $50 000 towards rejoining CASA, Vice President (External) Beverly Eastham was confident that it would produce results.

Instead, it looks as though that $50 grand is bound to be yet another addition to the SU’s budget line of “wasted expenses,” even higher than the cost of all those red scarves that made such a huge difference during the Restricted Access campaign.


Gateway editorial: Recession, unions screw universities

  1. Extreme cynicism, yes. Excellence, not so much.

  2. Putting my vested interest aside, how can $2B for colleges and universities be so easily dismissed and called a valid opinion?

  3. The $2B is not being dismissed.

    The editorial is pointing out that money was not a student priority.

    The federal budget included very little for students. The only concrete thing students are getting from the budget is the future bill.

  4. Well put. I’m still unclear what sort of improvements have been made to the student loan system. At least NS has recognized that aid was not sufficient for professional students – not that I feel that happy about it, as the change has simply allowed me to take on debt a bit more cheaply.

  5. Infrastructure $$ not a student priority? I might be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure infrastructure dollars were called for by both CASA and CFS in pre-budget submissions.

    Anyways, last year’s budget contained a $450 m/year studnt aid program which *was* hailed by students and which hasn’t even been implemented yet. No one with even the vaguest sense of how Ottawa works could possibly have entertained the idea that there was even the vaguest possibility that there would be *more* student aid dollars in the 2009 budget, regardless of what CFS or CASA did.

  6. I have yet to see one tangible benefit from belonging to the CFS. Supporters are quick to point out the ‘Drop Fees’ campaign at York. Great, I guess our dollars are being used to dress students up like zombies and walk them around Queen’s Park. Thanks for nothing. Why does the CFS insist on reactionary measures like the ‘drop fees’ campaign? Universities are already strapped for cash, they won’t drop tutition or cancel student debt. PLEASE CFS, if you’re good for any use whatsoever, try to get the government to open new universities. Make universities work harder to attract undergrads. Have university administrators accountable for losing millions of dollars (looking at you, Shoukri). Create more jobs for academics. Generate more research. Make Ontario more competitive. Train more people. If we move to a knowledge based economy, we wouldn’t have such large flucuations in the market. Why are we still trying to dominate the natural resources market? Why are we giving millions of dollars to farmers? This doesn’t make long-term sense.

    Or we could dress up like zombies. I’m sure we’ll sell this plan to the government that way.

  7. Pingback: The CASA media playbook vs. the CFS media playbook : Macleans OnCampus