As classes resume at Canada’s universities, students are paying mandatory fees of as much as 200 dollars each to student unions.
These organizations do several things for students.
They administer health and dental plans, fund a variety of activities including sports teams, and they advocate on behalf of the students to the university administration and government on matters like tuition fees.
But quite often student unions are dominated by political activists rather than acting as representatives of the whole student body on a university campus.
They fund political causes not every student agrees with and often focus their efforts on issues that have almost nothing to do with post-secondary education.
Our provincial governments should seriously consider following the example of Australia and New Zealand.
In these countries, students now have a choice of whether to join a student union or not.
In some cases, the students still have to pay for services formerly run by the unions, such as sports facilities, but student fees are not used to support political causes.
Rather than imposing their own politics on students, student unions should have to listen to the needs and desires of their fellow students.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on post-secondary education, visit our website, www.fcpp.org.