You Get What You Pay For
–By Jersey Joe
The recent student protests in Quebec against the proposed tuitions hikes by the Charest Liberal government has helped to make it obvious what the true value of an education is here in Quebec.
The government has remained mum on the issue, apparently deciding that after three decades of frozen fees the rates have to go up and for once it is NOT the average tax payer who is going to foot the bill. Finally! But, I digress . . . .
To hear the student leaders tell it, they are gaining support daily, even from the police. One can only wonder how they come to this conclusion. Do they really think that by blocking access to the Jacques Cartier Bridge at any time, marching through downtown streets for hours at end, walking onto the Metropolitan Boulevard, breaking windows, and/or clashing with police are reasonable and profitable ways of gaining public support or even sympathy? If they do, then one wonders what have they learned from their discount education so far.
One of the most effective, landmark, and ultimately successful protests in North American history occurred in Montgomery, Alabama, from December of 1955-December 1956. It was not done with any of the above tactics, instead it was a boycott. ‘Can’t sit where I want on a bus? Not going to take one.’ Simple, yet effective. Many consider this the first real step in the success of the Civil Rights movement. Yes, it was followed by marches, bus rides, and other sacrifices, but ‘from little acorns.’
One of the real oddities of the current activities is that these students are walking out on a year they already paid for. Don’t like the food at MacDonald’s? Well, go buy a Big Mac and throw it in the garbage, that will show them. If they can afford to throw this year away, they must be pretty flush after all.
So what to do, what to do?
How about this: For now, go back to school, finish what you paid for, and then plan for the future.
When summer comes, do whatever they do in summer, one would dare to presume get a job or some such thing. Then when the next school year rolls around- boycott it- that’s right, just don’t go. Don’t withdraw, don’t give any warning, just don’t go. Oh, they can preregister, work out courses and all, just don’t do anything that requires money. When school starts, keep that summer job and let the campuses run empty. Universities have functioned without support staff and/or librarians, but it is doubtful that they can function without students and the money, however little the institutions claim comes from tuition fees, they bring to the table.
There is an old saying, something like, “Money talks and bullshit walks.” For now, the bullshit is walking the streets causing no end of trouble and getting nowhere. If money is such an issue with these students, why are they willing to throw it away?
That they are using such poor tactics in their protests only shows what little their discount education has taught them. Maybe the proposed tuition hikes would help to buy them a better education.
–just my two sense