University of Calgary students hold naked tuition-hike protest

From College News - These Canadian students join the ranks of university students here in the US facing increases in college costs.

As reported last week by the Associated Press, tuition at public colleges has risen exponentially in recent years. Tuition at Florida institutions may jump as much as fifteen percent, while the University of Washington is expected to raise costs by 14 percent. Students in California schools are among the hardest hit by these tuition hikes, with some schools charging more than 30 percent higher than the year before.

With more increases on the horizon, parents and students are naturally concerned about the ever-increasing cost of education. But some students aren’t taking the news lying down. In fact, they’re getting right up and removing their clothes.

University of Calgary attendees were so outraged by suggested fee increases for five professional programs that they engaged in an unusual form of protest. Around 500 students stripped down to their underwear or wore garbage bags as they met with a university official, according to Calgary Herald writer Deborah Tetley. The students say the protest was “to stress that they were too broke to afford clothes.”

Provost Alan Harrison appeared at a student union council meeting last Tuesday in front of a raucous audience. “It’s not correct to say we are trying to solve these problems on the backs of students” he told them. He also explained that the school is holding out hope for aid from the state government’s upcoming budget for the year. “We feel it’s best for us to prepare for a worst-case scenario.” Meanwhile, students prepare for a future without pants. That Super Bowl Dockers ad never seemed so prescient.

By Joe Anello

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