Short-changed by the YFS

Illustrations by Keith Mclean

Alex Wagstaff
Managing Editor

Illustrations by Keith Mclean

It didn’t take long for this season’s big gift, the 30-per-cent tuition rebate, to lose its charm. The refund was announced during the provincial election campaign by Dalton McGuinty and comes out to $800 this semester. For some of us, anyways.

In the scant months since the election, the grant has been saddled with all manner of limitations. Excluded from the grant are students who are part-time, who have been out of high school for too long, and whose parents earn too much. The fine print of this Liberal election promise has become the focus of this year’s Drop Fees campaign, being promoted by the York Federation of Students (YFS).

And why not? McGuinty is technically dropping fees, sure, but it’s only for some half of university students, according to the Canadian Federation of Students. It’s not what the Liberals promised during the campaign. If anything, the stipulations have had the effect of elucidating one of the motives for this grant: winning over young academics.

A lot of the same things could be said of Frost Week, the YFS’s frozen answer to Frosh Week. The festivities kick off during the second week of winter classes, not exactly a time known for its academic ease. Furthermore, even if the timing made any sense, the calendar is filled with events that will accommodate a few hundred attendees, tops. And for what, exactly?

If the idea is to comfort students coming back to class during the gloom of winter, there are far better ways to do so. Counselling, unlike LaserQuest, has a proven track record. If the idea was instead a PR campaign in advance of an election, I guess it might work.

According to the Frost Week’s event page, it hopes to be “the largest Frost Week event ever held on a university campus.” Boy, what an honour! We’ll really top the last holders of the record for best five-day business week of fun, sanctioned activities. I’m not too sure what the peak of the whole thing is going to be. Maybe it’ll be the rom-com bliss of Friends With Benefits at movie night. Or maybe standing in line to be one of the lucky few to get jammed into the Underground on Pub Night. Cover is still five dollars, on top of the $15,000 budget for the week that attendees and non-attendees alike paid out of their student fees.

Say what you will, but at least McGuinty held up part of his deal. I’ve never cared for him or his politics, but I can admit that he’s got the YFS beat in that regard. Recently, I was reading over the campaign promises of the various appointees heading our student government. It’s overwhelming just how much talk there was about the importance of increasing student space. Nothing’s really changed.

People are going to have fun at Frost Week. That’s not being debated here. But come the end of the week, our student government still won’t be any closer to giving us what they claimed they would. Should we be any less disappointed?

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