Taking Notes: Eye on Education – U Of A SU Loves University

This column focuses on a wide range of issues affecting post-secondary students. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, or personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about. If suggest a topic or a course alert for taking notes, contact djabbour@ausu.org

U OF A SU LOVES UNIVERSITY

In another step toward getting the Alberta government to make university education a priority, the University of Alberta Students’ Union has embarked upon an aggressive campaign to make university funding an issue in Alberta’s upcoming provincial election. Cleverly building on the well-recognized “I Love Alberta Beef” pictorial slogan, the student union has created their own slogan that replaces the “Beef” symbol with a graduation cap.

A lawn sign campaign is being built around the concept “Alberta’s Universities Matter to Me”, to be supplemented with T-shirts, buttons and bus ads. Funding for the promotional items is coming through a collaboration between student and staff groups and the U of A administration.

This is not the first time diverse stakeholders in Alberta’s post-secondary education field have banded together to persuade our government to finally start placing importance on education, and hopefully it will not be the last. A greater attitude of collaboration and cooperation between students and university administration is long overdue – neither side is happy with rising tuition, and the blame needs to be placed where it belongs – with the government’s unwillingness to support post secondary education. From 2001-2004, infrastructure grants have dropped dramatically for all Alberta’s universities, with each getting, on average, less than a third of the amount received three years ago. This needs to change, and initiatives like this one continue to raise awareness. http://www.universitiesmatter.com

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