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2014-03-31 at 16:15

Another hike

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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The Lakehead University Student Union traded their protest signs for negotiation tactics after the university's board of governors approved a tuition hike for the eight consecutive year.

LUSU executives decided to accept the three per cent increase, approved at Friday's board meeting, and submit recommendations to the board asking for greater transparency in the university's finances.

Student union president Ian Kaufman said they changed their approach this year because after eight straight years of protests and tuition hikes that went ahead anyways, they saw it wasn't working.

"I think it's a recognition the university is in a tough position with provincial underfunding and trying to be more effecting in working with the university rather than against them because it hasn't worked," he said Monday.

"If the university is cooperative and does provide transparency in terms of their finances and it comes out they really do have no choice, then we can stand beside the university to ask for a different funding framework provincially," Kaufman added.

LUSU provided their recommendations to the board last week and they include a third party review of Lakehead's finances to ensure the money from tuition is going towards the core functions of the university - teaching and research.

Kaufman said tuition has risen 40 per cent in the past eight years and they would also like to see improvements made to their educational experience; those improvements would include items like increased library hours and a greater focus on deferred maintenance.

The student union has begun talks with administration on the recommendations and Kaufman said the university seems willing to listen.

Board chairman Cameron Clark said he commends LUSU for their new approach and willingness to work on solutions rather than throwing their hands up and saying the government and university aren't responsive.

"I think working together to find the best way of addressing these issues is the way to do it," said Clark, adding they want to meet with the student union and find common ground.

The tuition hikes have been necessary to balance the best educational opportunities they can for students amidst rising costs.

Clark said tuition covers about 50 per cent of revenue used for operating costs at LU and the other half comes from grants and funding from the province.

"The only real flexibility we have to meet sort of fiscal challenges moving forward is through some measured, thoughtful raising of tuition," he said.

A three per cent rise translates to about $172 for an average undergraduate student and the increase will take effect starting in the fall.

The board and administration is open to discussions with LUSU on their recommendations; university president Brian Stevenson met with the student union Monday morning.

In response to LUSU's request to have a third-party audit done of the university's finances, Clark said the board has an independent audit done on the budget every year before it's voted on.

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Comments

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S Duncan says:
Why are those cane shakers complaining about the price for?

Isnt it just old seniors that complain about the costs of things in this city?

or is it people that actually get stuck paying for them actually have a valid reason to complain?
3/31/2014 4:24:02 PM
tsb says:
Well-above-inflation increases in tuition make less sense than below-inflation increases in property taxes, tbqh.
3/31/2014 7:42:41 PM
S Duncan says:
tsb, you shouldn't type with your mouth full. Nobody can understand what you're trying to say.
3/31/2014 9:32:44 PM
TBAY Duffer says:
I don't think Mr Kaufman needs a third party audit. Surly someone who has risen to the rank of Student Council President will be able to understand the situation after a 30 minute chat with the President and his VP Finance.

BTW something that could reduce the students expenses immediately would be a reduction in the HUGE STUDENT FEES which pay for among other things, Mr Kaufman's office.

Currently a Student is told to pay $942 A YEAR ! to finance LUSU, the radio station, and sports teams which 90% of the students don't use or care about.
4/1/2014 9:22:16 AM
Toot Sweet says:
Unions ruin every thing. The hierarchy focus on their own needs rather than the needs of the students.

If the union was truly standing up for the students they would let the students have the decision to join or not. They could also opt in, or opt out of non essential things like bus passes and sports teams.

but unions don't like that. in fact the provincial PCs were pushing for those kind of freedoms a short time ago, but the union crybabys made a tremendous stink about it.

the problem with personal freedom is nobody wants you to have it, and its evident in the ways the LUSU operates.

when will people finally be able to make their own decisions?
4/1/2014 2:54:06 PM
whatelseisnew says:
If there wasn't unions people would be working for jam sandwiches!

Unions are the only ones that set a standard; but hey, far be it from me if you have a job making nothing just to be happy that you do something from 8:30-5pm, just don't go crapping on everyone else because YOU'VE settled at the bottom!
4/1/2014 6:44:08 PM
brandon says:
S Duncan, don't always agree with you, but you are spot on here.

How DARE these young people request that their tuition not increase 3% (higher than inflation)!

To put through the logic our city fire/police apologists use on us, "If you don't like it, why don't you go work at the university!" lol

The city, the university, the college, the hospital ALL need to not only STOP giving out wage increases higher than inflation, but ROLL BACK the decades of increases beyond inflation they have already handed out so willingly. Its put us in an impossible situation financially. Taxes are already too high, incomes (other than those in these jobs) are on average too low.

Something needs to change. Its not sustainable.

I wish the students all the best in their fight. The greed must end.
3/31/2014 5:21:13 PM
nvjgu says:
Has he seen the new sunshine list.
3/31/2014 7:09:18 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Welcome to the real world Ian . As soon as you get your education come join the masses who have subsidized education in this Province for years .
3/31/2014 8:02:19 PM
pc says:
One thing that would help students and it isn't about the tuition hike. It is about the books on the must have list.
My son attended and each of the 4 years he would go out and get the books. He kept his receipts and it averaged about $400. for books that were never used. The professors never read out of them and they were never part of any studying.
One that I personally remember is a CD put together by the professor. The reason I remember it is because I tried to listen to it a few times to see what my son was studying. I didn't learn anything from it because 5 min. after I turned it on I was asleep. He told me all the students found the same thing.
So why do teachers say get these expensive books and then never use them?
$400 a year is a lot of money for anyone and if they are never used in the course of study that just makes no sense and adds to the debt load.
Maybe the union should go after the professors wanting to sell their CD;s and books.
3/31/2014 8:29:05 PM
Tiredofit says:
Sadly, it's the province that puts the curriculum together and selects the required reading. My first up year of college (in the 80's) the books were $900 plus and half of them were never used. Sucks big time.
4/1/2014 6:51:36 AM
S Duncan says:
the Liberals strike again huh?

I remember one book I needed at LU. It was only $65.

but heres the bad part. The course was starting and they didn't have the books that the course required. They charged us the full $65 for photo copys!

Now, if they were punched and in a binder it wouldn't have been too bad. They were not bound, nothing! Just a pile of papers stapled together.

Real class act. The whole time I looked at the book for that class, all it did was make me angry about how I and others had been ripped off.

One thing about an LU education is its no guarantee of anything.
Tbnewswatch.com

4/1/2014 9:29:42 AM
Thor Odinson says:
Sadly $400 is on the low end compared to some courses. Students in the sciences could spend over $1000 easily, and even in my program I often spent from $750-900 a year on books. My advice to any students: Wait to see if your professor mentions or makes use of the book. If not, don't buy it.
4/1/2014 10:44:35 AM
Thor Odinson says:
The student union has no leg to stand on. They invent positions to hire themselves and their friends, and tack on more and more yearly fees. Students attending LU pay over a thousand dollars per year in student fees to pay for the LUSURs (you see what I did there!), which provides nothing of value. "We're fighting to keep your tuition low as we raise our fees that you're obliged to pay if you want to attend classes here." What a crock.
3/31/2014 8:30:19 PM
SomeGuy says:
Post Secondary should be free or nearly free.
3/31/2014 8:54:38 PM
S Duncan says:
Nothing is free, there is a cost to everything.

Are you saying you think other people should bear the costs and provide a free post secondary education to everyone?

Where does all that money come from to pay the teachers and the enormous costs that it takes to provide your socialist dreams?

Are you saying you want me to just give up my hard earned money for your utopian dream of over educated and unproductive leeches?

How about my taxes should be free, as well as my food, electricity, heating costs, gasoline, insurance, etc..

..and I think you should pay for it.

How's that sound?
3/31/2014 9:38:57 PM
cm punk says:
Canada is ripped apart at the seams.
As far as education and health care and throw in the highest standards of living, Sweden does it best.
3/31/2014 10:33:21 PM
fairlane says:
nvjgu, you're right. Have a look at the LU sunshine list. If you're a prof, you're now making a 100 grand. Are they worth it? Not for us to decide. But if you're wondering why your tuition is going up, this is a good place to start.
3/31/2014 10:34:42 PM
bttnk says:
You'll have to excuse me if I don't have much sympathy over this moderate increase to tuition. My post secondary education was $20,000/year plus cost of living.

4/1/2014 9:21:50 AM
TBAY Duffer says:
Tuition Fees always get the Student Council's attention.

It is funny that Student Council Presidents never mention STUDENT FEES that cost each L.U. Student $ 942.00 a year. (16% of Tuition)

WHY ? Well that money goes to pay the Student Union, (LUSU) and other organizations that most students have no interest in.
4/1/2014 9:38:49 AM
LetRrip says:
Ill address the question of whether a prof is worth $100g a yr. As a graduate student currently enrolled I can say that over the past two semesters of GRAD school I have not learned a thing! The profs assign presentations for half of a class so basically for 1.5 hours I listen to another student regurgitate some article that was already assigned to me to read. I thought I was “paying” and attending school to gain more professional working knowledge and guidance from “Profs” who experts in the discipline. What a joke, at the end of the day its another 20g for another slab of the alphabet to follow my name, the real learning will once again come when I am able to return back to the workforce as an “expert” myself. University is seemingly one of the biggest scams around.
4/1/2014 12:42:55 PM
Jon Powers says:
S Duncan:

Lakehead University gets $22,000.00 granted from Ontario Government for every full-time student.

Same as Confederation College.

They also get to keep tuition and all fees too.

Why would't a Big "C" conservative support an aduit of "Tax-Payer Monies"?

I think you and the rest of Thunder Bay would be outraged at the current abuse of "Tax-Payers" by both Ontario Government(L.U. & Con College) Operations.

Don't you want to know where and why they wasted your tax dollars?

Great Posts!
tbnewswatch.com
4/1/2014 12:52:53 PM
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