Campus catch-up

Protests in Montreal

Protesters against rising tuition fees in Quebec continued to take to the streets over the Parti Québécois government’s proposed fee hike of three per cent, or $70 per year.

The government determined this amount by indexing the cost of living to tuition.

In response to the rise, over 10,000 people attended a recent protest in Montreal earlier this week, according to the CBC.

Previously, the Liberal government proposed hikes of $325 per year over five years, which was later reduced to $254 per year over seven years. Current Quebec premier Pauline Marois cancelled the fees after taking power.

Martine Desjardins, president of La Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec — Quebec’s largest student federation — told the National Post that she believes the government should have debated this issue further. Other student groups in the area are demanding a tuition fee freeze or free education, and believe that the three-per-cent annual increases are unacceptable.

— Julia Vriend

UBC student dies mysteriously in L.A.

Weeks after University of British Columbia (UBC) student Elisa Lam went missing, her body was found in the hotel where she was last seen.

Lam had attended summer courses at UBC, but wasn’t currently enrolled in any courses.

Lam had been staying at L.A.’s Cecil Hotel, where an employee discovered the missing woman’s body in the hotel’s rooftop water tank.

An autopsy was performed on Lam, but the cause of her death won’t be available for an estimated six to eight weeks.

Security tapes from one of the hotel’s elevators show Lam acting strangely on the day of her disappearance, and staff confirmed that the rooftop door remains alarmed and locked, only available to hotel employees.

It’s unclear how long Lam’s body remained in the water tank, but complaints of low water pressure had been surfacing at the downtown L.A. hotel for weeks.

— Emily Walker

U of T councils seek separation

A “defederation” movement is sweeping across the University of Toronto’s Student Union (UTSU) after concerns about where there student fees are going.

Students are considering a financial exit from the UTSU, by having member fees given to college- and faculty-level bodies rather than the Union.

UTSU President Shaun Shepherd told the University’s student newspaper, the Varsity, that there’s “clear legal precedent to stop them,” despite plans for referendums.

In an official statement, he said the UTSU will not conduct a referendum, which leaves no clear recourse for those attempting to separate.

Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council (VUSAC) President, Shoaib Alli said he felt VUSAC was being held hostage due to the language used by Shepherd.

Others considering a move include the Engineering Society and Trinity and St.Michael’s Colleges.

— Julia Vriend


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