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SFU Rally

SFU rallies against the cuts

February 19, 2009

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Correction Appended

About 1,000 people rallied Feb. 4 in Convocation Mall at SFU’s Burnaby campus to pressure the B.C. government to reverse last year’s cuts to promised operating funds for universities and colleges. The university's senate passed a motion in January asking faculty and staff to accommodate students wishing to attend the rally, which was sponsored by seven associations and unions representing all students and almost all staff and employee groups.

The protest featured 80 people holding signs numbered from one to 80, to represent the 30 faculty and 50 staff positions being terminated or not filled as a result of the cuts.

"If the funding formula for universities is not adjusted to allow for a significant increase in funding to all post-secondary institutions, within three years there will be no true, public universities left in B.C.," said CUPE 3338 president Joann Field in a press release.

"I have been a professor here since 1984," added SFU Faculty Association president Bob Hackett, "and I cannot recall a coalition of this breadth united around a single policy goal— adequate funding for post-secondary education in B.C. "We expect enrolment to increase during the economic downturn, and we should be planning for growth, not retrenchment."

To see the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cGIuftN6a0

Correction: Feb. 19, 2009
The original, print version of this story mistakenly reported that the SFU senate had "granted 'academic amnesty' so students could attend the rally." In fact, according to the January senate summary, "A motion requesting that faculty members and instructors make every effort to accommodate students who wish to participate in (the event) and not penalize these students was approved by Senate."



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