On Thursday February 2, Carleton University’s Board of Governors is voting to increase students’ tuition fees. Carleton U is attempting to jam through two years of tuition fee increases at this meeting in an attempt to cut out student voices by eliminating the opportunity for students to mobilize against fee increases next year.
Senior administration is recommending that the Board of Governors pass a number of tuition fee increases, ranging from 6% for domestic students in non-professional programs to 16% for international students studying professional programs, over two years. Considering average tuition fees for these students are already $8,114 per year and $29,761 per year respectively, these fee increases amount to an additional several hundred dollars (several thousand for international students!). Carleton is planning to continue making money on the backs of international students by upholding xenophobic differential fees that charge international students 3.7 times more for the same education as domestic students.
In the past, Carleton administration has cried that they are forced to increase students’ tuition fees due to a lack of government funding. However, when Carleton students organized for the National Day of Action on November 2 to call on the Government to fully fund post-secondary education, Carleton administration blocked students’ request for Academic Amnesty.
This is not a matter of being cash-strapped, but a matter of priorities. While students at Carleton struggle to pay tuition fees that are among the highest in the country, the President of Carleton University, Dr. Rosanne O’Reilly Runte, continues to make $407,338.00 per year – plus a $3,000-a-month housing allowance and tax-deductible status for her home office space.
The Board of Governors is the highest decision making body of of Carleton University. Most of its 32 members are appointed by the current board at any given time, while four seats are reserved for elected students, two for faculty, two for Senate representatives, two for staff and two for the Alumni association. Eighteen seats are held by “community members” with no formal affiliation with Carleton. These currently include:
- The Clerk of Canada's Privy Council;
- The CEO of a major pension plan;
- The COO of a major athletic association;
- A construction company vice-president;
- A former Mayor of Ottawa who now owns a car dealership;
- The CEO of Western Union, the world's largest finance transfer company;
- Two CEOs of consulting firms;
- The head of a large polling firm;
- A Director of the National Arts Centre;
Carleton students are asking us to join to #FightTheFees this Thursday February 2nd at 4:00 p.m. in Richcraft Hall of the River Building. Students are also protesting Carleton’s unfair and unsafe sexual violence policy, Carleton’s sponsorship of the IRRG Symposium on criminalizing Indigenous resistance of exploitative development projects, and the unfair treatment of CUPE 4600 workers. See the Facebook event page here. Can’t make it in person? Vocalize your opposition to the tuition fee increases using the hashtag #CU75.