Month of protests planned against tuition increases

Marc Bence/for metro edmonton


Student leaders and activists, left to right, Stephen Dollanski, Lisi Monro, Leila Daoud, Bill Moore-Kilgannon, are planning a month of protests against proposed fee hikes.

Not only could University of Alberta students be facing tuition hikes next year, they could also be paying more to live on campus.

The university’s administration is proposing an 8.75-per-cent jump in rents for all of its on-campus residences, along with a 4.6-per-cent hike in tuition rates.

“This hike is unjustified and this is just the university taking advantage of a heated economy by using students as a cash grab,” said Steven Dollansky, vice-president external for the U of A Students’ Union.

The hike for on-campus housing, he says, comes a year after the university approved an additional 10-per-cent hike.

“This increase is unjustifiable and it will affect students’ daily lives,” he said.

Students will stage protests against the move all month long, with their first protest occurring tomorrow behind Lister Hall at 4 p.m.

The union is also backing up a new campaign that urges the province to invest in post-secondary education.

Public Interest Alberta, along with several students’ unions, are pleading with voters to make post-secondary education a priority in the next election — expected to be called in the spring.

Bill Moore-Kilgannon, an executive director with the group, says Alberta is struggling with government cuts made in the 1990s. Despite some increases to funding, he says, it’s still the most poorly funded system in Canada.

“If Alberta is going to compete to attract the best graduate students, we need to be in the same league as other provinces,” he said.

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