The SU advocacy team has been busy this past month working hard to make student voices heard by both the university and the government. On February 28th Alberta’s Provincial Budget was announced, with lack-lustre support for students. The cap to tuition increases announced in early February will not begin until 2024, providing little comfort for UCalgary students who will face additional tuition increases this Spring. Despite this letdown by the provincial government, the SU has remained dedicated to projecting student voices and advocating for their needs.
The SU welcomed Minister Jason Copping, Alberta’s Health Minister and MLA for Calgary-Varsity, to campus on March 3rd for a town hall. The town hall came at an opportune time to engage on the topics of increased and the 2023 Provincial Budget. The conversation highlighted many student challenges including affordability, the tuition hike, and access to Open Educational Resources. Expressing these concerns to Minister Copping and engaging on these issues is essential to continue our advocacy efforts.
On March 27th the SU organized a student rally for Alberta Student Day of Action, calling on the Alberta Government to freeze the fees and restore funding to postsecondary institutions. The rally brought students together to use their voices and ask for the government to support them at a time when they need it most. The response from students was incredible and allowed for a spotlight to be put on the government.
Ward 8 City Counsellor, Courtney Walcott, also joined students and provided an energizing speech sharing his wisdom and words of encouragement with students. Events like Student Day of Action are crucial to push for change and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to everyone who showed their support.
As we approach the provincial election in May, the SU has begun our Get Out the Vote Campaign, asking students to pledge to vote. Students can sign up here to pledge to vote and get reminders regarding voting information, the election, and voting locations. Students who pledge to vote will also be entered into a draw to win one of 2 bookstore gift cards for $250 and 5 Den gift cards for $100 each.
The SU hosted Opposition Leader Rachel Notley to take questions from students about post-secondary and Calgary issues. During her address to students, Notley committed to rolling back tuition to 22-23 levels, if elected. This means students will not have to pay the latest UCalgary tuition hike of 5.5%. Notley also announced plans for additional mental health supports, no tuition increases above inflation, and to bring in a summer employment program for students, among other commitments. A big thank you to students for asking their questions of MLA Notley.
The SU will also be hosting our weekly radio show on CJSW from 11 am – 12 pm on Thursdays as we approach the election, interviewing candidates from the surrounding ridings. Be sure to tune in and hear from candidates before you cast your vote this election.