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Alanna Newman and Alexander Byrne-Krzycki

UTSU-this should worry you

The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) is hosting an Emergency Town Hall on post-secondary education reform taking place on September 25th, 2012.  The town hall will focus on the Ontario Government’s discussion paper entitled Strengthening Ontario's Centre's of Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge.  At the surface level this should sound okay- gaining student input on student issues.  The paper calls for a re-evaluation of the Ontario post-secondary education system.  At a time when Ontario is an equalization receiving province and revenues are down, I applaud the Liberal government for taking a step towards making education an affordable and sustainable option.  Indeed, many government programs are overdue for reform.At the first sight of a call for change, the UTSU has launched an attack on the discussion paper, with the tag line "This should worry you."  The paper calls for reform in areas such as yearlong University education, and thus three year degrees, online learning, and work experience.  The town hall's supposed purpose is to gain student insights and the view of the community to deliver to the ministry.  However, we question the value of these responses when it is clear that UTSU will only hear what they want to hear.  They will stop at no means to get the answer they want, regardless of whether it reflects the views of students on campus.Let us take a moment to examine the issues regarding the "emergency" town hall.1. The DateThis year Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is September 25th.  Unfortunately, the UTSU will have plenty to atone for as they renege on their responsibility and mandate to be equitable and accessible.  Of all the days of September, the day that the UTSU thought was the best to host the emergency town hall is also the holiest day of the year for… Read More