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BoG rep Frank Finley delivers post-report to SLC

By Enobong Ukpong, January 24 2022—

This week’s SLC meeting took place on Jan. 18. The main topic of discussion was the Board of Governors’ post-report, where Frank Finley, Board of Governors representative, discussed the items that were voted on in the last Board of Governors meeting.

The Board of Governors approved the rate of 2022-23 tuition and residence fees, as well as meal plan and parking rates. Finley expressed his disapproval of this decision and why he, alongside Student Union (SU) President Nicole Schmidt, voted against it.

“The fact of the matter is, we’re still in a pandemic,” said Finley. “We’re in an economic crisis. And if we’re trying to attract students to come to the University of Calgary, raising the tuition year after year is not going to make us a competitive institution.”

Finley stated that while he understands that these increases can be used to improve the quality of education, they have to draw a line somewhere. 

“We could triple what we spend per student here and that might increase the quality of education you get at the University of Calgary, but we will be preventing a lot of people from being able to come here,” he said.

Finley stated that these increases have come as a result of provincial budget cuts. The amount of money invested into post-secondary institutions has declined since the 1990s.

“You can’t cut $150 million from the University of Calgary over a period of three years, and expect the university to be able to magically make up the books in terms of efficiencies,” said Finley. “It is just impossible.”

Finley goes on to state that the provincial government has ignored the large amounts of research that show that for every dollar invested into post-secondary institutions, the government gets more than $1 in taxation and economic growth.

Finley is overall quite pessimistic about the upcoming provincial budget. 

“I don’t expect to see any kind of revitalization in terms of investment into universities from this government,” he said. “And in a lot of ways, the damage has been done in a huge way. It’s really hard, no matter if the NDP or the UCP or whoever wins the next election, to go back on these cuts.”

Agendas, minutes and upcoming meetings for SLC can be found online.

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