Ontario Students United association plan walk-out at 13 colleges across the province
Credit: ZAFRIN MUNDAY (PROVIDED BY JAMES FAUVELLE)
Ontario Students United (OSU) Association organize walk-out event on Dec. 15, at colleges across the province. The walk-out demonstrates the frustration student are feeling about the outcome and impacts of the Ontario Colleges' faculty strike.
According to James Fauvelle, one of the main organizers of the OSU, the organization was formally known as the Students for Faculty Fairness and was formed during the province-wide college faculty strike. The organization strives to create change within the current college system.
On Dec. 1, the OSU started a petition titled “Kathleen Wynne: The Return of Millions of Dollars Stolen from College Students”, which lists seven demands regarding the current initiatives and procedures associated with the aftermath of the province-wide faculty strike. The petition, as of Wednesday Dec. 5, has 325 signatures. The petition will be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Deb Matthews, CEO of the College Employer Council (CEC), Don Sinclair and the presidents of all 24 colleges in the province.
According to the petition, one of the demands states that all students should receive $500 from the Student Support Fund without having to go through the application process. Fauvelle explained that the Student Support Fund does not take into account that all students experienced hardship, as well as the fact that numerous students will be unable to work nearly as many hours over the holiday break due to the extended semester dates.
Another demand states that students who chose to withdraw from their semester of studies should receive a refund for all their ancillary fees in addition to their tuition such as parking fees and facility fees. Fauvelle explained that tuition is only 50 to 30 per cent of total semester costs in some cases.
A third demand calls for the disbandment of the CEC and for a new council consisting of 1/3 student body, 1/3 faculty and 1/3 administrative personnel to be instituted in its place. Fauvelle says this method would allow no party to rule over the other two.
According to Fauvelle, the walkout will take place at 12 p.m. on Friday Dec. 15, with participating students meeting in the main parking lot of each of the 13 Colleges to voice their concerns and stand in unity.
“Roughly around 12:45 p.m. we are all going to be delivering the same message to all schools at the same time to show that this is a united front,” Fauvelle said.
According to Fauvelle, the colleges that will have students participating in the walk-out include: Fanshawe College, Humber College, Durham College, Centennial College, Sheridan College, Niagara College, George Brown College, Seneca (at York) College, Canadore College, St. Clair College, Algonquin College, Loyalist College and University of Guelph-Humber.
The students participating will return to class the following Monday.
“Our voices need to be heard and so do our concerns,” Fauvelle said.
The full list of demands can be read at the change.org website (bit. ly/2AxN8cc).