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U of C students plea for financial support from the province for the 2020-21 year

University of Calgary’s student union asks for emergency funding from the provincial government to help students with financial burden stemming from COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the U of C’s student union is following up on their July 13 pleas for support to the Alberta government. The student body continues to argue that “well-funded public post-secondary a key part of economic recovery.”

On July 13, the student union sent a letter to Alberta Minister of Advanced Education, Demetrios Nicolaides, asking for financial aid for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.

The letter outlines that students have been impacted heavily by COVID-19 and the financial burden on students will only increase in the coming years.

Marley Gillies, U of C Student Union Vice President External said in the press release that secondary institutions and student should be a major focus in Alberta’s economic recovery plan.

“We know Albertans are hurting from the financial hardships caused by COVID-19, but the path to economic recovery has to include strong post-secondary institutions, which is why we’re asking for immediate provincial supports,” she said.

“It’s disappointing that Calgary schools haven’t been included in the provincial infrastructure stimulus funding.”

The SU made four key demands of the administration in their letter:

  • To change the tuition regulation so tuition would not spike to a seven percent increase for next year and re-regulate both domestic and international tuition based on the consumer price index (CPI).
  • To provide emergency funding directly to students for any additional cost incurred by accessing technology for remote learning and personal protective equipment (PPE) for in-person learning.
  • To reverse cuts to the Campus Alberta Grants so U of C has the budget to reduce tuition for students.
  • To direct a portion of the $10 billion infrastructure investment included in Alberta’s economic recovery plan to specifically address the growing deferred maintenance burden at U of C

U of C Student Union President Frank Finley said in a press release that although the Canada Emergency Student Grant (CESG) is helping students, some are still suffering the loss of summer work.

“We are disappointed that the province has not stepped up to support current students and the institutions that they will be attending, instead of choosing to continue on the path of cuts and cost increases that will ultimately make post-secondary less accessible and affordable,” he said.