author: john loeppky | editor-in-chief
Yes, for the most part, the U of R Confessions page is a cesspool of racism, objectification, and downright dismissiveness that shows the world our campus’ ugliest side. Sometimes, though, there are rays of sunshine like a vocal advocate for mental health commenting on someone’s post about how they’re currently feeling, validating their experiences, and (hopefully) creating a better environment for them on campus. Then, there are the URSU complaints, the most recent being posted on Jan. 31.
“So URSU is beginning a campaign to try and freeze tuition. But with all the corruption going on at the top of the URSU executive, and the inactivity (What do they even do these days? Host a Town Hall and redistribute clothing and food donations?) I think it would be much more effective if they just stop forcing us to pay Student Union fees. That would immediately lower costs for students, while not having any impact on the quality of education which we receive. Heck, I would even go so far as to say abolish the Student Union.”
This post is in reference to the campaign being brought forward by URSU, most notably, VPSA Jermain McKenzie. A recent press release detailed their reasoning; below is an excerpt.
“URSU is calling on the Government and the University Administration to put in place a tuition freeze now, and work on a plan of action to ensure that post secondary [sic] education becomes affordable and accessible to all. We are currently the most expensive province for post secondary [sic] education in Western Canada, yet our neighbours in Alberta have acknowledged the necessity for accessible and affordable education for their economic and communal prosperity. Having an educated population is an asset, not an expense.”
Predictably, and I would say rightfully, McKenzie responded. Here is part of that rebuttal.
“Anyone who knows me know [sic] that I am very critical of URSU and how it has operated. Yes, we have not always delivered or stood up for students the way we should, but the poster seems unaware of many of the great things we do for students. So, do we need to improve? Yes, without a doubt! The campaign that the poster is trying to belittle has already had hundreds of students signing up to show their support and I believe it is a campaign we should have had years ago. The tuition at the U of R has increased every year for the last decade and now we have one of the most expensive universities in the country. I know increasing tuition doesn’t affect every student the same way, but it has a very real effect for students who are not as privileged as some of us.”
Board member and UR Pride Executive Director Jacq Brasseur pointed the poster to the Special General Meeting (SGM) to be held Thursday, February 14. The most damning critique, however, came from removed election candidate Sukhdeep (Happy) Brar.
“Couple Years Back When Jermain McKenzie was President At that Time Ursu Stands For University of Regina Students’ Union . But Now It Stands For (University’s Racist Student Union).”
Something tells me we still have a ways to go in order to turn the U of R’s political climate into a utopia. Maybe the CFS can promise us that next.