November 8th 2023: The fight for affordable education

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Ladies and gentlemen, grab your seatbelts because we’re about to dive headfirst into the baffling world of university finances. Education is a right, but the rising tuition fees have turned it into an elusive dream.

Image credit: MUNSU

Students from modest backgrounds bear the brunt of this financial oppression, with marginalized communities suffering even more. Indigenous and racialized students, who often hail from low-income households, are shackled by insurmountable student debt, while their academic dreams become as distant as a shooting star.

Funding the dream: A united front

Image credit: MUNSU

On November 8th, the MUN Students’ Union will join forces with public post-secondary students across Newfoundland and Labrador, rallying for an education system that’s not just accessible but also a system of the highest quality.

Students and supporters will meet at the MUNL Clocktower at 11 am to rally together and march to the Confederation Building.

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The battle against rising tuition fees: A fight since 2016

Since 2016, students have been on the frontlines of the battle against austerity governments and university budgets that seem to have more loopholes than a spaghetti strainer. They want to dismantle our progress faster than you can say “student loans,” proposing to hike tuition fees for local, out-of-province, and international scholars. If this were a soap opera, we’d call it “The Neverending Tuition Saga.”

Fight the Fees campaign: A nationwide movement

Image credit: MUNSU

Ah, yes, the “Fight the Fees” campaign is a national movement. They’re fighting for three key pillars:

1. Universal Access: It’s like a game show with no barriers, no entry fees, and no final boss to defeat. Everyone should have access to higher education and skills training, without the barrier of cost, making it feel as common as your daily coffee.

2. Education Justice: Think of it as education’s own Justice League, standing up for the marginalized—Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQ+, differently-abled, single-parent families, low-income backgrounds, and anyone else facing the tuition villains. Education is the Bat-signal that mustn’t further marginalize these communities.

3. Public Education: Education is not a private party; it’s more like a potluck. Post-secondary education in Canada must be by the public, for the public. No hidden agendas or secret clubs are allowed.

Back in 1987, a report confirmed that international students added a dash of excitement to the Memorial University community. But for some inexplicable reason, they still considered introducing differential fees. Maybe they were trying to make the campus more exclusive than a secret speakeasy.

The Highly Anticipated Auditor General’s Report

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for—the Auditor General’s Report. It’s like an academic thriller, complete with twists, turns, and customized chocolates. This report exposes the leadership at Memorial University, showing that while students struggle with textbook prices, they’re ordering chocolates like it’s Valentine’s Day in the middle of finals week.

The report reveals an absence of oversight within the institution that’s akin to letting a group of toddlers loose in a candy store. Students and faculty have been knocking on the door, asking for transparency, but they seem stuck in a never-ending queue.

Administrative bloat has run amok at Memorial University. While executive and management positions enjoy bloated compensation, students are left feeling like they’re on a diet of instant noodles.

MUNSU is demanding the rebuilding of the university as an institution that prioritizes students, urging the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to invest in our future.

So, let’s join MUNSU’s campaign against tuition fees, and on November 8th, let’s march together to secure affordable education for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sign up for the campaign here: https://munsu.ca/campaigns-signup

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Manan Aggarwal
Manan is a true chameleon. He can seamlessly blend into any environment, from a high-stakes lab experiment to a top-secret boardroom meeting. And rumor has it, he once convinced a robot to do the moonwalk! Rumor has it he once took up underwater basket weaving just to prove a point. If you ask nicely, he might even teach you his secret handshake. He successfully welded an electric guitar on a stove without setting the fire alarm off in a common kitchen with no support (true story).