THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA: UNFREEZE THE BUDGET: STOP THE DISMANTLEMENT OF THE TRANSITIONAL YEAR PROGRAM
We, the undersigned, are students, faculty, staff, community members and allies who believe that Post-Secondary education should be accessible, affordable, and a reflection of the complex and multiple lived experiences of students, faculty and staff. We recognize that our current model of Post-secondary education underserves members of racialized and marginalized communities, such as African-Canadians, Aboriginal Peoples, LGBTQ students, members of the working class, persons with disabilities, and single parents or children of single parents. We recognize that The Transitional Year Program (TYP) is the University of Toronto's premier access and equity entrance program for adults without formal qualifications for admission. Founded in 1970, The Transitional Year Program is a model for supporting academic excellence, social justice education and access in academia throughout Canada and North America. We are opposed to the current threats made by the University of Toronto’s Vice-President’s Office to TYP, including, but not limited to: the freezing its current budget, a refusal to replace recently retired full time faculty positions, a refusal to make those current part-time faculty members who have invested years of their energies and expertise into the program full time, the removal of TYP from its previous location into the current one (part of an attempt to amalgamate TYP with a less successful and less inclusive Academic Bridging programme at the University) where space has drastically been reduced and where disability access is non-existant, and the slow but steady degradation of TYP’s autonomy. We call on the University of Toronto to: uphold its historical commitment to access and equity in line with the provincial and international codes regarding human rights, equity and education, employment justice and substantive justice for Black, Indigenous, racialized and marginalized, working class, educators and students alike; ensure the Transitional Year Programme as an autonomous program with concomitant funding, full time staffing [faculty and administrative ] with full benefits and compensation, control over its admissions and curriculum, a distinct, separate and expanded physical space and a substantially increased expansion of its admissions, intake, and ability to perform research and engage with the most vulnerable of individuals and communities in Canada.
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