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Samuel Mosonyi and Alex Vronces

The CLASSE brings its radical agenda to Ontario

The CLASSE, Quebec's most radical student federation, just finished a tour of Ontario, which started in Ottawa on July 12th and ended in Peterborough on July 20th. Sympathetic individuals from all walks of life crammed into lecture halls across Ontario to discuss tuition hikes and social movements, hoping to inspire a sense of solidarity with those who have mobilized in Quebec among the broader student population.  The Prince Arthur Herald was fortunate enough to have attended the speaking events at Guelph and York.Mobilization against private sector involvement in educationIn both conferences, the speakers began by attempting to successfully pit private against public interests, portraying the former negatively and the latter positively.  Speaker Hugo Bonin, the CLASSE activist and political science student at the University of Quebec at Montreal, was mainly concerned that a private education system would reduce enrolment and distort the student-university relationship.Under a private regime, with respect to the relational distortion, Bonin said  that certain fields—mainly the arts and humanities—would necessarily be underrepresented. Students in a totally privatized system, he said, would only opt for an education that promised a certain level of monetary success later in life. He argued that this pursuit of riches is somehow supposed to undermine society and to result in a net loss of some kind in terms of our well-being.Bonin also worried about the allocation of funding among universities, and the purported exacerbation of such schemes should privatization develop any further. According to his own observations, commercial research is being prioritized over all else. He said, “There is less and less money in the universities for teaching and fundamental research…the professors are hired to do [commercial] research, and the part time are hired to teach…with worse conditions than professors.”Speaker Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students for Ontario, held… Read More