5 petitions

Update posted 12 months ago

Petition to College Employer Council, Sonia Del Missier, OPSEU - CAAT-A, Deb Matthews, Mitzie Hunter

Students demand a tuition refund for each day missed in case of an Ontario college strike

Ontario's 24 public colleges and the union representing their faculty are in negotiations over their contract. College faculty have declared that they will be on strike as of October 16th, 2017 if a deal is not reached. The purpose of a strike is to put pressure on the employer. However, as it stands, College administrations have nothing to lose. Students pay the same tuition regardless of how much time and learning we lose if a strike occurs Administrators continue to earn their comfortable salaries even if classrooms are empty. It's a public system, therefore students can't really "take their business elsewhere." The colleges therefore have a monopoly. Students suffer the most, yet we are not part of the conversation. We lose learning. We lose time. We demand a refund. Many students work minimum-wage jobs to pay for ever-rising tuition costs that vary between $3,800 - $7,500 for two semesters Some are mature students with families to care for and bills to pay. Our college education is a ticket to employment. Parents spend their hard-earned money to invest in their children's education. We, the 235,000 full-time and over 300,000 part-time students demand a tuition reimbursement for each day lost should a strike occur. At an average tuition of $5,000 for two 13-week semesters, we are paying nearly $40/day to be in school. Full-time students must be reimbursed $30/day should a strike occur Part-time students must be reimbursed $20/day should a strike occur We, the students, want to be in school and we want to learn. We are paying for it. If the two bargaining teams do not consider our educational and employment prospects as motive enough to reach an agreement, then perhaps a justifiable hit to the colleges' bottom line will. #wepaytolearn

Ontario College Students
145,735 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Wilfrid Laurier University, The Graduate Student Association

Reverse the unfair termination of Veritas' Contract

Recently small business owner Sandor Dosman had his contract with the Graduate Student's Association abruptly terminated, allegedly over a single ad for new employees.  This response was seen by many to be disproportionate and unprofessional.   We petition for a full and just review of this decision and a reversal if the decision is found to be unjust and disproportionate.       Also included is an open letter by Byron Williston, a professor at Laurier: Dear GSA, I was extremely disappointed to learn that Café Veritas has suddenly been closed because you have terminated your contract with them. If the reason for your action is that you disapprove of the recent ad posted on FB by Veritas for new staff, then I am even more disappointed (if this is not the reason, read no further). I suppose it’s a sign of the times, especially on university campuses whose student bodies—undergraduate and graduate—seem to have been taken over by the terminally thin-skinned and self-righteous. Perhaps you should direct your moral outrage at some of the many real problems in the world rather than behaving like petty bullies. I’m an ethics professor, so my job involves, among other things, thinking about how we should weigh up the moral pros and cons of difficult moral decisions. On the charitable assumption that this was a difficult moral decision I have a hard time seeing how your action can be justified. I’m sure it makes all of you feel better, but you should not assume that your feelings of moral superiority are evidence that you have done the right thing. History is rife with well-meaning scoundrels. Instead, you should think (more precisely: should have thought) about how many people have been harmed by the decision, and in what ways they have been harmed. Many people on this campus depend on Veritas as a cozy, efficiently-run refuge, with great food and a wonderful vibe. And much of that vibe, it should be noted, seemed to be a product of the way the place was operated by Sandor Dosman. It reflected his personality and was cool as a result. So what of moral value has the contract termination produced? I can’t think of anything, but since you are evidently so morally wise perhaps you can enlighten me here. Or perhaps before acting on your deliberations you should think about running them by actual adults. That way we’d all be spared the negative outcomes that are, as in this case, usually produced when spoiled children are given too much freedom of choice. Sincerely, Byron WillistonAssociate Professor, PhilosophyWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterloo, ON, Canada   News coverage:

Tessa D'Achille
1,424 supporters
This petition won 5 years ago

Petition to Algonquin College, Kent MacDonald, Algonquin College Students' Association

Give students the choice of how they acquire and use their textbooks, in any form, electronic or printed, regardless of platform.

I have been a student in an e-text program since last September.  Last semester, fully 40% of my course e-texts were UNUSABLE.  In one instance, the text was cut off on every other page of a math book, as captured in the screenshot.  In the other instance, my Communications book was improperly numbered.  In that case, I couldn't use the Table of Contents or the Index.  Both features are pretty important for students.   Jumping to the right place in my text during class was time consuming and by the time I got to the proper page, the lesson had moved forward (interesting, how none of my instructors use e-books!). I have asked Alqonquin College many times to refund my money, as they forced me as a student to buy the product.  Larry Weatherdon, the e-text manager, refused.  Even after acknowledging the obvious flaws in the e-texts when I showed them to him in person.  Mr. Weatherdon stated that the decision to pursue a sole-sourced product, and to pass the financial obligation to students was made "way above him, like at the President's" level.  Well then, I hope Dr. MacDonald can do the right thing.  The most disturbing thing gleaned from my conversation with Larry Weatherdon was that Algonquin College intends to pursue this program at any cost to students until enrollment declines at Algonquin College.  Until the College is satisfied that e-texts are a failure, students will be forced to pay the college for products whose quality is inferior.  At some point, Algonquin College has shifted its priorities from educating students to revenue collection for publishers and large content companies.  I don't appreciate that tax dollars are being use to benefit corporations at the cost of students' education. The stated goals of the project have not been met.  Many students are purchasing or renting hard copy books at extra cost, above those already collected by the college for e-texts.  Other students are printing their textbooks, again at extra cost.  Furthermore, students cannot sell their books to recoup their money or lend them to others.  Students lose out.  The College has not elicited any feedback from student since first semester to validate whether or not students are satisfied. Algonquin College should do the right thing, and let its students choose how they acquire and experience their textbooks, whether it is electronic, hard copy, online or offline.  

28 supporters
This petition won 5 years ago

Petition to Dr. David Wilkinson, Dr. Ishwar K. Puri, David Campbell, McMaster University, Michelle Donovan, Sean Van Koughnnett

Withdraw the discriminatory policies towards Engineering students which infringe on the rights of Canadian students.

McMaster University has targeted and limited the freedoms of its students in the Faculty of Engineering which has resulted in the discrimination of these students. This was initiated in response to an issue that came to light earlier this year regarding a songbook, which was incorrectly associated with the McMaster Engineering Society (MES). Since that occurrence, McMaster has accused the Engineering society of funding and organizing unsanctioned alcoholic events with no evidence to support their claims and has pursued an investigation by an external organization. In fact, to date, no concrete evidence has been presented to substantiate these claims. During this investigation, the University has ceased to recognize every engineering students' ability to cooperate with the Faculty and the University in planning sanctioned events. As a result of this action, an entire faculty feels separated and discriminated against by both other faculties and their own Dean who was supposed to stand-up for their rights. In fact, the Faculty of Engineering and the University has decided not to work with the elected student leadership to continue its most valued services, withdrawing support for the student societies' Welcome Week events and failing to support a graduation formal that is appropriate for student's completing a professional degree.  To elaborate on immediate student concerns, the University administration has decided to forego a serious working relationship with engineering student leaders. This will have unfortunate long-term consequences that are out of the control of any one group of student leaders. The close working relationship that student leaders felt before the recent events has been severed and the University is demonstrating no interest in repairing it, but will hold the student society leadership responsible for any consequences of this failure, for years to come. In the short term, the University has banned alcohol at the Engineering Kipling formal for graduating students, a sanctioned off-campus event celebrating the accomplishments and hard work of the graduating engineering students who will soon be given professional degrees, which follows the traditional Canadian iron ring ceremony. This event has had significant oversight from the Faculty of Engineering in the past, and deeming it "unsafe" to serve alcohol at a rather expensive, licensed banquet hall is unprecedented. McMaster University's actions to limit the freedoms of students during this off campus event are also irrational given the Faculty's own history of supporting, assisting in planning, and even attending the event. McMaster has set a standard in which imposing sanctions against groups of individuals, while performing an investigation, will create a disconnect with student leadership. This petition is relevant to those outside of engineering then, as it affects student leadership's ability to self-govern, and to be taken seriously by the University administration. Currently, more than 4,000 McMaster Engineering students have been found guilty and incapable of operating in a professional manner; none of these students will be treated equally until an investigation is complete. This contradicts the values of those people and organizations that fund McMaster, and even goes against the ideals that McMaster itself was founded on. It is time to act and show that McMaster University is not above the law. If you support the serious working relationship between student leaders and the University; the fair treatment of all engineering students; or the elimination of discrimination between Faculties, then please sign this petition to have the University and the Faculty of Engineering continue working with the engineering society and its most important services, through the investigation. 

Simon A
1,157 supporters