THE STUDENT MOVEMENT
Issue 7 - tsmwindsor.ca Windsor’s grassroots, student newspaper
January 10th, 2011
While you were studying...
By Vajo Stajic
By Darryl Gallinger
Dr. Wildeman hosted a town hall on December 7th where he updated students on how we performed in the latest Maclean’s rankings. He talked about the Strategic Plan, its implementation, plans to build a parking facility, and more.
Unfortunately, many students were scrambling to wrap up major essays and prepare for exams and could not attend. Members of The Student Movement were present to take advantage of the Q&A after the presentation. As has been discussed in earlier issues of TSM, a Strategic Priority Fund of $1.5 million has been set up by Dr. Wildeman to meet his Strategic Plan’s priorities.
I asked if Dr. Wildeman believed it was democratic to place $1.5 million under the sole control of newly appointed Provost Leo Groarke.
Dr. Wildeman responded, “How it’s allocated through the provost’s office is done through a very consultative manner with the deans of the faculties.”
Normally, financial decisions are made by a group of people, and the student representatives, faculty and administrators on several committees have input and voting rights.
Consultation means that, while the deans may
For footage be given a chance to share their thoughts with the Provost, he is by no means bound to take from the Dec. 7th them into account. Nor do the deans have any kind of voting power. Control over the SPF When I said tuition fees and budget cuts town hall, visit remains 100% in the hands of the Provost. funded the SPF, Dr. Wildeman responded, tsmwindsor.ca After confirming that the Provost had sole “The [Strategic Priority Fund] is derived from investment income. We’re not taking it directly out of tuition and operating grants.”
The university’s budget is made up of investment income, tuition fees and grants from the government. They form the same pool of money from which the Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) is drawn, and so investment income that normally would have defrayed operating expenditures and buffered tuition increases and budget cuts is instead diverted to the SPF.
In earlier issues of TSM, we wrote about the additional financial strain under which the SPF places the university under. In the last issue, Dr. Winter wrote in to say that the Digital Journalism program, funded by the SPF, would exhaust other resources such as faculty since new professors would not be hired to teach the new program.
control over the SPF and only consulted with others, Dr. Wildeman said, “I don’t think it would be in anybody’s best interest... to give the Provost such unbridled solitary authority... I think there’s sufficient checks and balances.”
I asked if he thought that faculty, staff, and students should be included in the decision-making process as well.
Dr. Wildeman responded by saying that the Provost consults with the deans, who consults with the departmental council, who consult with their respective classes, students and faculty and so everyone is included in the decision-making process in this way. He stressed the importance of building communication. What do you think about the concerns raised here? Do you have any stories to share on the impact to your faculty and department? Write in to email@example.com and let us know. The Student Movement
Demanding Representation in The Lance By Meghan Mills
According to their mission statement, The Lance is responsible for producing “a weekly newspaper that provides informative and accurate accounts of events and issues relevant to the University of Windsor, its students, and the surrounding community.” On December 2nd, 2010, we, the students of the 54410 Women in Protest class, challenged The Lance concerning its failure to adhere to its mission statement. Specifically, the protest was meant to raise awareness concerning the lack of student representation, as well as the inherent racism, sexism, and prejudice that has become integrated within our University newspaper. After two hours of protesting, it was evident from the roughly 250 signatures on our petition that we are not the only ones who feel that change is desperately needed.
Initially, we advocated for an updated policy, the implementation of an oversight board, as well as for sensitivity training for all five editors, including the editor-in-chief, D’Arcy Bresson. Negotiations have been taking place, admittedly slower than expected, over the course of December. Following a meeting with representatives from the University of Windsor’s Student Alliance (UWSA), it was made clear that due to the democratic nature of the electoral process, an oversight board was an impossibility for this academic year. However, according to the Canadian University Press, to which The Lance refers to for its ethics policy, sensitivity training is a yearly requirement. This requirement has not been met, and as such, will be of specific focus for this movement. Representatives of The Lance were very cooperative during our first meeting and have agreed that sensitivity training was a reasonable demand. Since then it has been difficult to establish contact with Mr. Bresson, and when two representatives from this movement met with the Human Rights Office on December 21st, The Lance did not attend this meeting. They have not shown any interest in what was discussed. It seems that students are ultimately expected to hold The Lance accountable for their content. It is difficult to combat discrimination, but it is even more difficult when the accused is the organization itself, and not necessarily the individual persons involved. Continued on last page.
The Student Movement
Protesters at the Dec. 2nd demonstration. Photo by Michael Ngo.
Letter: Border Services Must Improve Anonymous
I am not sure if you read the story recently published about the Canadian family where the two sisters were harassed by Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) on drug charges. When they could not find any drugs, they switched it to immigration charges to save face. The parents filed a complaint. The article was in the newspaper and the CBSA correspondent did not respond to it accurately, saying it was an immigration issue. Sadly, the complaints against CBSA are always investigated by another CBSA officer. CBSA rarely convict their own. I have never read anything of them convicting their own people.
The solution for this problem is simple. To be fair, CBSA should be investigated by another government agency they are not directly affiliated with. If found guilty CBSA officer or officers should be fired and punished as required, it should be a zero tolerance policy.
To truly serve people better, they should be transparent. All CBSA borders already have video surveillance and people should be videotaped when questioned. If someone feels they are being mistreated and requires a copy of the complete tape afterwards they should be made available to the person with a little fee. CBSA should not hide facts in the name of national security. If this is done, I feel a lot of CBSA officers on power trips will lose their jobs and most will be reprimanded. There will be a lot more complaints and lawsuits against CBSA when people know they have genuine proof and justice can be served. It will also help CBSA protect their own image for false complaints. Good CBSA officers will shine and hopefully bring back a smile, a polite, pleasant and firm voice and a welcome back look in their eyes. I am happy CBSA is trying to protect our borders but they are failing miserably to protect Canadian citizens’ rights and other people’s human rights. If current CBSA officers cannot be professional, provide respect and secure our country while protecting our human rights they can quit. There are thousands of brighter, smarter and intelligent Canadian students that will be able to provide the same with a big smile for a good secure job. It may have been a few in the beginning but I feel the bad element sure has caught on to other CBSA officers. Unless someone investigates and brings it to their attention the situation will get worse. Experience travelling to Canadian borders used to be a 9 out of 10 before, now I will give it a low 2.
Cutting Pensions Won’t Solve Anything Editorial: CFS and the Board of Governors By Enver Villamizar
According to reports from the town hall meeting held by President Alan Wildeman, faculty and staff pensions are creating a problem for the university in terms of financing. It appears as if there is a shortfall between the revenue the university will receive and its costs, and that there is a large shortfall in the pension plans of the faculty. There is speculation that the university will attempt to propose a different pension plan for new faculty hired in the future. Will such measures solve the problem? Pensions are funded by added value produced by the workers of Ontario and Canada. The university receives them in the form of transfer payments made to Ontario for Post-Secondary Education from the Federal Government. For education as a whole this money is value produced by the workers of Ontario which is being allocated by the government so the youth of Ontario can become educated and so that new advances in technology, human and natural sciences can improve the standard of living of everyone. Or at least that’s the idea. Cutbacks in government allocations for education are causing huge strains in universities and colleges. Changing pensions for new faculty to make up for lost revenue won’t sort out the problem; it will only break the solidarity between one generation of faculty and another. It’s asking one generation to throw the next under the bus. Similar demands are being made to workers in the manufacturing and resource extraction sectors A member of TSM asking a question across Ontario. It is a slippery at the Town Hall. slope and should be opposed. Photo by Ken Townsend.
Graduate students becoming faculty today have paid thousands more in tuition than the generation that came before them. They have huge debt loads to deal with. For them now to face less pension benefits and other cutbacks is not acceptable. If the government requires more money to adequately fund public sector pensions then they should try to find real solutions. They should work out in which industries they can establish public works which can finance pensions. For example, in the auto, mining or steel sectors, mainly US companies are shutting down production. Why shouldn’t the Ontario government take over these industries and use them to produce the added value required to provide pensions for all Ontarians? Many important value producing industries, like US Steel’s steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario are sitting idle while the workers who want to produce steel are locked out. Cutting back on pensions, or creating two-tiered pension plans, will only exacerbate the problems because it will create a downward pressure on the wages and benefits of new faculty. It will not lead to increased funding by governments for an education system which requires it in order to function and meet the needs of the 21st century. We need real alternatives, not more cuts.
By Ian Clough
At the end of November, I attended the Canadian Federation of Students’ (CFS) National General Meeting on behalf of Windsor part-time students and OPUS (Organization of Parttime University Students at the University of Windsor). One of the motions that was put forward at the meeting was to amend CFS’ policy on “Governance of Post-Secondary Institutions;” I put forward an additional amendment to have the policy state that student’s representation on a school’s Board of Governors should be increased to at least 30%, where the policy originally read 50%. First off, some context. The University of Windsor, like every university in the country, has a Board of Governors, which is the highest decision-making body at our school. While the Senate only has a say in academic matters, the Board attends to everything, including the university’s budget, which, of course, effects the entire school. There are only four students sitting on the Board, a mere 13% of its 30 members, as well as only four faculty members.
Currently, students pay more than 45% percent of UWindsor’s budget through our tuition fees: at some Ontario schools, that number is over 50%. However, I do not believe that our representation on the Board should be based on how much we pay; hence, why I put forward an amendment to CFS’s policy. What I believe is that Board representatives should reflect the purpose of the institution: to educate students, to provide a research environment for professors, and be a workplace in the community. Also, the Board of Governors should be elected, whereas currently, most of it is appointed by members of the Board without outside say. Currently the University of Windsor is the city’s second largest employer, yet non-academic staff have zero say at the Board of Governors. Non-academic staff should make-up 30% of the Board, with faculty and students each holding an additional 30%. The final 10%, in my opinion, should be made up of members from the Windsor community.
Unfortunately, my amendment was defeated at the CFS National Meeting, but only by a mere five votes. Students across the country are passionate about wanting stronger representation at their universities. At Windsor and everywhere, students must stand together with the professors and staff to make effective change and safeguard education. Continued on last page.
Radical History Conference Celebrating the history of resistance, workers’ struggles and direct action. For a soceity based on mutual aid, autonomy and sustainability.
Feb. 4-6, Windsor Workers’ Action Center (328 Pelissier)
radicalhistoryconference.blogspot.com The Student Movement
It’s 9am: do you know where your Vice-Provost is? By Mohammad Akbar
Big changes are coming to the CAW centre, courtesy of a deal between the Policy Management Board (PMB) and the administration of the University of Windsor.
The Policy Management Board is the body that runs the CAW centre. It is comprised of the UWSA and OPUS, the two student unions who hold offices in the centre. However, it should not be thought that the PMB has full control over the Student Centre. The university still owns the building, though the PMB has some control over certain aspects. The problem with this alone is that the Student Centre is supposed to be run by the student unions—operation of it is paid for mostly by the “CAW Centre Operating” student fees. However, the administration has more say in the operation and allocation of resources than one would think. This deal, which has been touted to be a victory over harsh circumstances, can only be seen as a victory if one ignores the situation and how the deal in itself came about. The administration demanded that space be made in the CAW student centre for Dr. Clayton Smith, the Vice Provost of Students and International. The PMB felt that rather than simply refuse, they had to back down as they did not have control over the
UK students demonstrating against the attack on their education Continued from The Lance protest
We believe the lack of representation of students in addition to the embedded racism, sexism, and prejudice in The Lance to be systematic issues. While blatant discrimination would most likely result in severe consequences for The Lance, subtle forms of discrimination (e.g. the lack of representation of students) is often regarded as less damaging. To us, however, the relegation of certain students on campus as invisible is an undeniable human rights issue. Additionally, we believe that it is the responsibility of The Lance to ensure sufficient representation of all students as well as appropriate reporting of relevant student issues. This movement will not end because a semester finishes, and it does not—and will not—pause for the holidays. We will work tirelessly to make sure that words become action and that positive changes in The Lance are made. Along with Cassandra Thomas and Rachel Kovach, Meghan Mills organized the protest against The Lance and the three continue to demand representation and accountability. If you’d like to get involved or would like more information, email kovach@ uwindsor.ca. 4
The Student Movement
situation. Discussion with a PMB representative made it clear that the deal was forced upon the PMB. Instead of resisting, the PMB simply proposed that the office be built in the back left of the 1st floor, with seats being moved into the center. The administration will pay for half of the latest renovations planned to the CAW, which are to make the information desk in the CAW commons more accessible, and to renovate the Quiet Study Room and increase seating capacity. This action by the PMB shows that our student unions are willing to put at least some effort to not be completely controlled by the administration. This is not to say that having the Vice Provost here will not be an asset to students. As long as students take the time to visit Dr. Smith and voice their concerns and are informed on what he can offer to them, which is a voice to those who control how the university operates, his presence should help enhance student experiences. If the PMB felt forced into this deal it should have stood up to the administration rather than capitulate, or at least brought up their concerns to the general student body before making such a hasty decision. And there should never have been such a situation wherein the administration was able to force such a deal on the PMB.
UK politicians take a page from McGuinty’s book By Lee Bagley
What would cause tens of thousands of students to converge on the steps of parliament in one of the largest protests in more than a decade? How about this: politicians lie during their campaign saying they’ll freeze and try to decrease tuition costs to gain votes just to turn around after they’re elected and raise those costs to astronomical heights.
Well it’s not us this time. Students all across England took to the streets in protest in early November and continue to do so since finding out that their tuition costs would be tripled to more than 9000 pounds. That’s over 13,000 Canadian dollars! At the same time, the government announced 80% cuts to teaching grants and 40% cuts to the higher education budget. While the protests are centered in London, they have been taking place all over the country. For links to more information on the UK protests, visit tsmwindsor.ca Continued from Board of Governors
Change only happens when students become politcally active. We all need to get informed and involved, and it’s easier than you’d imagine. Volunteer with OPIRG, or the Drop Fees Coalition, or any of the literally dozens of organizations on campus which are starving for volunteers. If someone asks you to sign a petition you’re interested in, ask how to get involved. It’s usually as simple as attending a meeting and volunteering to help out. As students, we are the largest political bloc on campus and, through our tuition fees, we contribute the most to the operation of this university. We have the most power: it’s time we start using it.