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Students must rally against market modifiers

By Kate Jacobson, October 13 2014 —

The University of Calgary will host a budget town hall tomorrow, Oct. 14, in MacHall A. Administration will be presenting the budget and trying to convince you that the proposed tuition hikes known as market modifiers are a good idea for students.

Market modifiers are faculty-specific tuition increases tied to the perceived value of a degree. University administration is currently trying to pass a market modifier of $170 per course for undergraduate engineering students, along with a $250 per course increase for law students and a $300 per course increase for masters of business administration students. If you’re in engineering, that’s almost $2,000 a year for full-time students.

If you think the university shouldn’t be able to raise tuition without significant student input, you have to prove to them that you’re willing to fight back. Show up to the budget town hall. If only a couple of students show up, it’s easy for administration to dismiss our concerns. But when hundreds of students are there, we prove that students are more than a distraction before administration can do what they want.

We still have the opportunity to stop unnecessary tuition hikes. Eighty-three per cent of engineering students polled by the Engineering Students’ Society oppose new market modifiers. Currently, consulting with administration is a joke. They’ve continued to ignore overwhelming student opinion and should have to pay a price for it.

Administration thinks acting against student opinion and gathering money for their coffers will be easy. We have to make sure that this process is as difficult and slow as possible so they think twice before trying it again. The only way we’re guaranteed to lose is if we don’t fight at all.

RSVP to the event on Facebook. Show up on Tuesday. If you can’t attend in person, watch the livestream or submit your questions online. Speak up. Let’s make it impossible for the university to ignore us.

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