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Students rally for tuition freeze

Two groups at the University of Guelph that want tuition fees to be frozen organized a rally of students on campus Wednesday.
The “Freeze the Fees” rally in the University Centre courtyard was meant to put pressure on the U of G’s Board of Governors to freeze tuition in the upcoming annual university budget.
The average undergraduate student in Ontario graduates with more than $35,000 in debt, said a news release from the rally’s coordinators – the Central Student Association, which represents the U of G’s 20,000 undergraduate students, and the Guelph Student Mobilization Committee.
The Guelph Student Mobilization Committee was formed by students in solidarity with the Quebec student strike of 2012, the release said. “Their long-term goal is free, accessible, public post-secondary education, student debt amnesty, and the creation of a movement against austerity and for democratic rights,” it said.
The “Freeze the Fees” campaign has been circulating a petition since January to demand a freeze in tuition fees by the Board of Governors. More than 1,500 U of G students have signed the petition, the release said.
The goal of Wednesday’s rally was to send a message to the Board of Governors that “action is needed to alleviate student debt and expand financial accessibility in order to protect quality, affordable, public education,” it said.
“Guelph students want to make it clear that the university should be standing with students and demanding greater public funding, not increased user fees,” it said. “The University of Guelph must demonstrate that it is no longer willing to make up budget shortfalls on the backs of students.”

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