Students Occupy University of Ottawa Administrative Offices

Nov 24, 2010

Students Occupy University of Ottawa Administrative Offices

For Immediate Release

November 24, 2010.

Today, at approximately 1 p.m, students and concerned community members occupied the administrative offices at the University of Ottawa.  Beginning at 1:30 p.m, a rally is also taking place in the building in support of this occupation. The action taken was in response to the decision made at the Board of Governors meeting held Monday evening. The University of Ottawa administration and its corporate appointees voted in favour of raising tuition fees, which will result in the following increases:
• 4% for returning undergraduate students and 4.5% for new undergraduate students
• 4% for returning graduate students and 8% for new graduate students
• 4% for returning international students and 8% for new international students.

We, the students, recognize that this vote is simply reflective of the progressing neoliberal agenda towards education being felt across the world.  This office occupation and rally against tuition fee increases was also in solidarity with fellow students in the United Kingdom, who are participating in a National Day of Action for Education, students across Italy who are currently occupying their universities, and students in New Brunswick who are taking to the streets today as well.

As demonstrated at the Townhall on Tuition Fees last week, students across the board are demanding that post-secondary education become more accessible. It is both disgraceful and inappropriate that our administration could hold such a townhall, and yet disregard all input received from us, the students, who will now will suffer the consequences of further inaccessible education. As demonstrated by the already increasingly over-used and straining services of the uOttawa Food Bank, student poverty is increasing. Yet, the Board of Governors has hiked our tuition fees once again, leaving us wondering: did we ever have a chance, or was the decision made without a second thought?

The group occupying the administrative office has the following demands:

  1. That the University of Ottawa administration and the Board of Governors reverse its decision on tuition fees increases, and instead freeze tuition fees at the current tuition fee rate until inflation makes it necessary (2052) to increase tuition fees
  2. That the University of Ottawa administration formally sign an agreement and enact the necessary changes to allow a more representative amount of student seats upon the Board of Governors, in the area of 51%
  3. A comprehensive study to be conducted in which a multitude to plans will be created that would be necessary for eliminating tuition fees

The action today was set out in retaliation to the lack of responsiveness within the University of Ottawa’s administration. Over the last few years, campaigns such as ‘Drop Fees’ and ‘Education is a Right’ have emerged in an attempt to change the flawed system and freeze tuition fees for the benefit of students, who should be the University’s first priority.
Yet, such campaigns and all their requests have been ignored time and time again. The occupation and rallies today show that students will not back down, be ignored or be silenced. We will continue the fight for accessible post-secondary education until we win!
The students, united, will never be defeated!!!

For more information, contact:
Amalia Savva (FR) 613.867.9182
Iain Brannigan (EN) 613.668. 7275