on-campus Advance voting locations
Advanced voting stations will be made available at the following locations and dates:
|UofC Hunter Student Commons Building|
|UofC Foothills Campus - HMRB Atrium|
Alberta Election 2023 – Our asks
The Students’ Union represents 28,000 undergraduate students studying at the University of Calgary. Since 2019, students have seen their tuition rise by about 33% ($1,200/yr), fees have risen by about 20%, and quality of education has not improved in step. Students are at a breaking point and making difficult decisions between continuing their education and paying for basics like food and housing. Provincial cuts have downloaded costs onto students and other provincial decisions, like ending the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP), have taken away employment and financial opportunities away from students.
Students have seen their student loan interest rates increase and the elimination of the tuition tax credit essentially means a $200 million provincial tax hike on students and their families. When you include that Alberta has one of the least balanced student aid systems in the country, students are getting a really bad deal.
That’s why we believe that students can’t afford to sit this election out. Below are what the Students’ Union, on behalf of UCalgary students, would like to see from our provincial leaders during the campaign.
We Are Advocating For:
Tuition supports that support making post-secondary education accessible for students.
Since 2019, tuition has increased at the University of Calgary by approximately 33% for domestic students and 40% for international students. Equating to an increase of $1,200 and $6,000 per year for domestic and international students, respectively. The recently announced tuition cap doesn’t begin until 2024 and does nothing to help students weather the storm of the largest increases to tuition in Alberta history.
- Regulate international tuition increases.
- Require institutions to set metrics as to how programs have improved through increased reliance on student tuition dollars.
- Ensure that institutions provide the mandated four-year outlook of tuition fees.
- Ensure that institutions properly and consistently consult student associations and students themselves in a meaningful and robust way.
Increased transparency of where Mandatory Non-Instructional Fees are spent.
Mandatory Non-Instructional Fees (MNIF) are required fees that the university charges in addition to tuition. The largest of these that UCalgary students pay is the Student Services fee. There are very few limits on how the university can manage these fees and the revenue. There are a few existing restrictions on what can be added as a cost related to a particular MNIF.
- The university is not able to increase MNIF fees beyond inflation in a given year
- Annual reports on the spending of fee revenue include justification of significant increases to spending in departments and, overall, to what line item each dollar was allocated.
- Students should be able to opt-out of the Dinos Athletics fee.
- Each fee should be required to have criteria for what student fee dollars can be used for.
Accessible mental health services that prioritize student needs.
Post-secondary education is a pivotal time to invest in mental health. According to a UCalgary survey conducted in 2020, 86% of students reported a decline in their mental health since the beginning of the Covid- 19 pandemic and 61% of students identified negative effects on their academics related to their mental health. Longer-term funding commitments by the government are necessary to allow institutions to plan how to use the mental health dollars to support long-term student mental health.
- Determine a reasonable per capita amount for student mental health funding and consistently fund institutions based on the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) enrolled at an institution.
- Require institutional reporting to ensure that funding goes to the frontline mental health services students use.
- Extend the Government of Alberta’s Post-secondary investment into mental health services.
A student jobs program, to support student summer employment opportunities.
The Government of Alberta has provided no support to students looking for summer work since the cancellation of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) in 2019. The government has announced two targeted jobs programs, Jobs Now and Alberta at Work, but neither provides any support for students looking for temporary work. The Alberta government must step up and help students make ends meet.
- Reinstate the STEP program to help connect students to employers or ensure students can be eligible for the job subsidies included in the Jobs Now program.
- Ensure international students are eligible to participate in a re-implemented STEP or new student jobs program.
- Implement employment programs similar to B.C. and Ontario that offer temporary positions in the provincial public service and other fields for students.
Student Financial Aid that is equitable for all students and ensures that parental income is not a factor in student aid decisions.
Over the last four years, there has been a greater amount of uncertainty about the cost of a university education as tuition has skyrocketed. Alberta’s student financial aid model has not been adjusted to reflect this new reality. Alberta students receive much less in non-repayable grants than many provincial counterparts.
- Re-balance student financial aid to a better mix of loans and non-repayable grants.
- Ensure all eligible students have consistent access to student financial aid programs.
- Re-instate the tuition tax credit or use the money to create new non-repayable grants.
- Ensure parental income is not a factor in student aid decisions.
Better consultation and transparency of Exceptional Tuition Increases.
At the end of the tuition freeze era in 2019, the Alberta government implemented a new tuition framework that allowed for Exceptional Tuition Increases (ETIs). ETIs allow universities to increase tuition that is beyond the government’s tuition increase cap, to improve the quality of those programs. These tuition increases require approval from the Minister of Advanced Education and consultation of students.
In fall 2022 the University of Calgary administration introduced ETIs, with individuals beginning their studies in engineering seeing a 32% increase in tuition and Medical Doctor students a 15.7% increase. These increases are above and beyond, with little transparency as to how they plan to improve the quality of these programs and inadequate student consultation.
- Require universities to adequately consult with students while they are on campus from September to mid-April.
- Require university administration to demonstrate how student consultation and feedback changed the initial ETI proposal. If no changes were made the institution must justify why student feedback was not taken into account.
- The final ETI proposal to be sent to the Minister must be shared with the Students’ Union and the Board of Governors before approval.
- The ETI proposal must include metrics for program improvement along with goals and milestones. The institution must report annually and publicly on progress towards these goals for ten years after ETIs are implemented.
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