Students at the University of Victoria established a picket line around the Michael Williams Building for the Food Not Fees: Anti-corporatization Cookout early Friday morning.
The picket was designed to shut down UVic’s primary administrative building in protest of the university’s board of governors’ recent decision to hike international student tuition.
A free lunch for students and a food drive will be hosted at the same time as the shutdown lead by several student organizations.
@WorldSharethe @VictoriaNews Franziska Fischer is a Political Science PhD student @uvic from Germany – listen to why she’s protesting the international student tuition hikes outside the Michael Williams Building on campus pic.twitter.com/hj14FcRXgd
— kendra crighton (@kendracrighton) April 5, 2019
According to students there was a big turn out earlier in the morning, but hit a lull around 9:30 a.m. when classes start. Organizers expected it to pick up closer to 11 a.m. when classes let out.
This comes after last week’s decision by the board to raise tuition for international students by 15 per cent for undergraduates and four per cent for graduates. These increases mean that in two fiscal years UVic has hit international students with nearly 40 per cent tuition increases on undergraduates and almost 10 per cent on graduates.
Following the board’s decision, students issued a series of demands aimed at making UVic into a more publicly accountable and socially conscious institution. As of now, there has been no response to these demands.
The campus food bank reports 50 per cent of its regular users are international students, despite the fact that international students account for less than 20 per cent of the whole student body. Student protesters feel the tuition hike will only exacerbate this crisis.
The primary goal is to raise $2,400 worth of donation to the campus food bank — roughly the cost of just one regular course for an international student at UVic before the most recent tuition hike.
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