letter to the editor

“The University of Ottawa has to stop asking students to reach out about their mental health struggles when they won’t listen to what they have to say. Instead of being asked to reach out, students need an official system where they can share their experiences,” writes Kimberley Paradis, a fourth-year computer engineering student at the University of Ottawa.

“While I have no doubts that the creators of the petition mean well, this particular issue reminds me of a similar call to action for mandatory Indigenous content courses in universities. Many of the issues raised in this regard also apply to these suggested mandatory anti-racism courses. Primarily, these mandatory courses could actually foster the toxic spaces they are meant to mitigate,” writes Sam Yee a third-year biomedical sciences and Indigenous studies student at the University of Ottawa.

A few months ago, I read former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power’s memoir, The Education of an Idealist. In it, she asked a question that has stuck with me since: “What is the nature of individual responsibility in the face of injustice?” writes second-year University of Ottawa Law student Nemee Bedar in a letter to the editor.

“The Senate, one of the most powerful governing bodies in our institution, should have cancelled classes this Friday. They should be tasking themselves with assembling a campaign aimed at promoting further education, organization, and collaboration to address this problem,” writes U of O student Lorin Clive D’Arcy Van Dusen.

Thursday morning the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, Hon. Merrilee Fullerton, announced that tuition would be cut by 10 per cent, OSAP would be returning to the 2016-17 funding levels and the six-month interest-free grace period was eliminated.

The administration has a lot of questions to answer in the coming months and negotiations will be intense, but this needs to be readdressed with a proper overhaul of the SFUO. With only two executives currently serving, students need to come together to make sure that the SFUO does what it can to regain the trust of students at the U of O.

On Sunday, there was an opportunity for members of the BOA, on behalf of the students they represent, to stand up and do the right thing. What happened? BOA members failed to protect students and fight for us at the table, leaving myself and many others feeling frustrated and angered.

Your money was allegedly stolen from you by someone you should have trusted. Be angry about it, talk with your friends about it and make it an election issue. But what you should never do is make this a partisan issue, and that’s what one of my colleagues did. Contrary to his attempt, Alexei Kazakov’s letter does nothing to galvanize students and if his advice is heeded, the student body will be worse off for it.

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