Old Sock Drawer

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#079: Perspective: Where has it gone?

November 27th, 2009 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “Babylon” – Mad Men Season 1 OST

So, the UBC blogosphere (and beyond) has been all aflutter about AMS President Blake Frederick’s UN debacle (also, see UBC Insiders for an extensive overview). Quick summary, for your lack of attention spans: basically, Frederick launched a human rights complaint with the UN, claiming that rising tuition fees point to the failure of both the Provincial and Federal governments in providing affordable post-secondary education.

Feel free to join me in a collective “what was he thinking?” No, make that a “Was he thinking?!”

Now, I understand tuition is a problem for many students, myself included. I am all for lower tuition costs but perspective, people! How this can conceivably be viewed as a violation of our human rights is sheer arrogance speaking out of a position of privilege. Not having access to food, water, and security are all quite rightly considered to be human rights violations. Our risk of running a relatively small student loan debt compared to the cost incurred in universities in the US and UK of equal calibre? Not quite on the same scale. Though we may be having a little more difficulty paying for our education than in an ideal situation, we should be incredibly thankful that post-secondary education is available to us while people in so many countries barely even have the opportunity to attend basic primary education. Calling this a “human rights violation” simply cheapens the idea of what constitutes a human rights violation and draws attention away from legitimate human rights violations both within Canada and worldwide.

To be part of the discussion, come on out to the emergency council meeting tomorrow, or submit your comments here.

I will be liveblogging the proceedings of the meeting tomorrow, so feel free to keep a lookout for that, along with the Ubyssey’s.

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