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How to fight the power... and win!

Activist Assembly

November 1, 2019 | 10am-6pm | Convention Centre, SSC

With the massive cuts to public services ranging from healthcare, to employment, to education - it’s important now more than ever to get organized.

The YFS Activist Assembly is a daylong series of workshops and panels that are designed to give you the basic tools and understanding to organize against these cuts!

Workshops Available

  • Anti-Oppression Training
  • York 101 and Current issues in Ontario
  • Educate, Agitate, Organize
  • People over pipelines
  • Solidarity Across Movements
 
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Student Strike

November 6, 2019 | 10am

We the Students are fighting for a free and accessible education. Students in Ontario pay the highest tuition fees in the country and are fed up with the provincial government cuts to education and funding. Student leaders across the province are mobilizing and we are leading the fight.

Join us on November 6th, for a one day Student Strike to let this government know that the students united will never be defeated.

PICKET 10:00 am | York Boulevard Main Gate Entrance

FREE BBQ 12:00 pm | by the York University Subway Station

RALLY 1:00 pm | by the York University Subway Station

FAQs

Why are we going on strike?

On January 17th, 2019, the provincial government made significant changes to post secondary education, making it even less accessible to students.

These changes include:

  • Eliminating $670 million in non-repayable grants and eliminating the Ontario Student Grant; forcing students to depend mostly on loans and making post-secondary education significantly less accessible to low and middle income students.
  • Eliminating the six-month interest-free grace period, charging students interest immediately upon graduation and making finding work for graduates within their chosen fields significantly more difficult.
  • And lastly, although we recognize the reduction of tuition fees by 10% as a step in the right direction, the Ford government refuses to supplement the loss in revenue with public funding for institutions. This means forcing universities to turn to privatization and international student tuition fees to make up the loss in funding.

These changes have forced students to find other alternative sources of funding for their post-secondary education. The reduction of grants means many already feel like they are falling behind, as they will no longer be able to survive or sustain their University education.

These changes have also means that international students face a 10% increase in their tuition this year with the approval of another 10% guaranteed for the upcoming year. International Students already pay three times the amount of tuition than domestic students.

What is a student strike?

Student Strikes are the disruption of normal university operations by students due to dissatisfaction with government or university policies or officials. Student Strikes may take many different forms and range from disrupting classes, examinations and university offices, to sit-ins, pickets and mass protests.

Student mobilization is meant to communicate dissatisfaction but also to instigate media coverage, public awareness and ultimately institute change in order to achieve set demands.

In 2012, half of the Quebec student population protested tuition hikes and now pay the lowest tuition fees in the country ($2,391 - $3,772).

Change is possible and our student strike will make as much noise as possible in order to show this government that students feel the impact of these regressive policies and are demanding change.

What is picketing?

Picketing is a form of non-violent protest in which a mass amount of people with gather peacefully outside a place of work or location to disrupt normal programming. This is often in an attempt to persuade people from not going in, and to also draw public attention to a certain cause.

The picket for the one day student strike will start at 10:00am at the Front Gate of York University, Keele Campus; intersection York Boulevard and Keele Street.

What happens if I skip class to strike?

We are encouraging students not to go to class and to talk to their course instructors to let them know that you will be participating in this action.

 
 

We Demand…

 
 
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The elimination tuition fees... for all

Because...

  • Ontario has one of the highest tuition fees in the country
  • Tuition fees in Ontario has increased over a decade to makeup for government funding shortfalls.
  • The average post-secondary student in Ontario graduates with over $28,800 in debt.

The government MUST increase public funding for public education.

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Public funding for public education
  • Ontario has the lowest per-student funding in Canada - roughly 35% less than the national average.
  • Underfunding leads to large class sizes, less access to instructors and professors, high tuition fees and crumbling campus infrastructure.
  • Less than 50% of operating budgets for most institutions come from the government making them publicly assisted not publicly funded.

The government MUST immediately eliminate the harmful Student Choice Initiative.

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Protect students’ independent voices
  • As autonomous organizations, students’ unions have the right to advocate for prosperity of student life.
  • Student-led initiatives hold administration and government accountable and are an essential aspect of campus life.
  • Student media serves as an outlet for students to have their voices heard, as well as, a way to report on what matters to the student body as a whole.

The government MUST immediately eliminate the harmful Student Choice Initiative.

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The right to organize
  • Students’ unions exist on campuses around the world to provide students with a united voice, create space, advocate for change and operate essential support services.
  • Student union autonomy allows students to have control over what services, events, and campaigns they value most on campus. Students have democratically voted to fund services, events, campaigns, student media and student groups through the collection of dues.

The government MUST protect the existence of students’ unions by passing legislation that recognizes their autonomy at post-secondary institutions.

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Grants not loans
  • In 2017, over 234,000 students (40% of the domestic, full-time student population) received non-repayable grants to pursue college or university.
  • Recent government changes have reverted grants to loans, which will result in increased debt for students.
  • Public education should be a right, not a debt sentence.

The government MUST increase funding for grants instead of loans and expand eligibility for non- repayable grants to ALL students.