PEI

UPEI Student Union opposes national student protest

The UPEI Student Union is not participating in a national Day of Action protest against high tuition fees organized by the Canadian Federation of Students.

Local student union does not agree with goals or tactics of Canadian Federation of Students

The Canadian Federation of Students held a similar Day of Action tuition protest in 2012. (Canadian Federation of Students )

The UPEI Student Union is not participating in a national Day of Action protest against high tuition fees organized by the Canadian Federation of Students.

Students from 54 university campuses across the country will hold rallies Wednesday as part of the Day of Action.

The UPEI Student Union supports more targeted aid for students in need, says VP Johnathan Rix. (CBC)

At the University of Prince Edward Island some student groups are taking part, but the UPEI student union is not. Johnathan Rix, VP academic and external, said the union doesn't agree with the goals or tactics of the day. In particular, the UPEI SU doesn't agree with the CFS objective to abolish tuition.

"You could argue that if we could target the funding to only students that need the money the most, and the other half of students, their education is already paid for. They don't have financial barriers," said Rix.

"Why do we need to subsidize people who already have the money to go?"

Rix said the student union is involved with other advocacy efforts, with a main goal of increasing access to needs-based grants. He said that will help students who need funding the most.

Graduate students disagree

The Graduate Students' Association at UPEI is supporting the Day of Action.

Mary MacPhee, VP academic and administration, said Canada should follow the lead of other countries that offer free post-secondary education.

If that's a necessity, then we need to be able to provide that education.- Mary MacPhee

"Right now in Canada if you're looking for a job, 70 per cent of the jobs require post-secondary education. You need some university or college experience," said MacPhee.

"If that's a necessity, then we need to be able to provide that education to people, to be able to live a, you know, healthy equitable life."

MacPhee is helping to organize the Day of Action rally in Charlottetown.

The Canadian Federation of Students held a similar national day of action in 2012.

With files from Sarah MacMillan