(photo courtesy of Elana Emer)

 

By Jacob Dubé (RSJ ’18)
Editor-in-Chief, The Eyeopener 

On Jan. 17, the Ontario government announced an array of changes to the financial frameworks of post-secondary finances. Some major changes included a reduction to school funding and OSAP—which undoubtedly prevent students in need of support from continuing their studies. They also announced that ancillary fees—the extra fees students pay along with their tuition that go to other services around campus—would be optional.

 

Aside from a few exceptions, this means that most aspects of student life will be at risk of losing their funding, including student media. A healthy and active press is a vital service at a post-secondary institution, and without it, students would be left in the dark.

 

The work of campus publications makes a significant impact in the communities they represent. This past year, The Varsity reported on the University of Toronto’s Muslim Students’ Association when they were receiving surprise visits from law enforcement. The Fulcrum has been covering the ongoing crisis with their student union at the University of Ottawa. The Eyeopener, Ryerson University’s independent student newspaper, reported on questionable credit card statements made by their student union, allegedly amounting to $250,000.

 

These publications are embedded in their communities. The editors and reporters that work there are taking classes with their readers, and interact with them with a degree of closeness not seen anywhere else. The stories they write can’t be done anywhere else, and if these publications shut down, they won’t be told at all.

 

I came into The Eyeopener in my first year, and my editors taught me everything I know. They took the time to develop my skills, make connections, and send me off into the world—and reporters across the province have stories just like this.

 

Campus papers are a vital part of campus life, teach students necessary skills and keep administrators accountable. Once they come for us, students won’t really know what happened after that, will they?

 

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For additional reporting and editorials on this topic, the Ryerson School of Journalism has compiled the following list:

 

Ford’s tuition changes put campus media at risk

The move sparks discussions about whether a free student press is essential on campuses

By Alanna Rizza

Ryerson Review of Journalism

 

Campus Newspapers: Why Doug Ford Got It Wrong

For some communities, campus newspapers are a major—and reliable—source for local news

Olivia Bednar

Ryerson Review of Journalism

 

Potential guidelines for Student Choice Initiative revealed

Documents outline essential versus non-essential fees, enforcement mechanisms, timeline for implementation

By Andy Takagi

The Varsity

 

Ontario Tuition Reforms Could Spell Disaster For Student Newspapers, Unions

“This is an attack on the voice of students to advocate for themselves.”

By Emma Paling

HuffingtonPost

 

The Tories say they want to protect free speech on campus — their policies suggest otherwise

Campus media outlets are vehicles for free expression, something Doug Ford says he wants to defend. But his government’s new education-funding framework threatens their very existence, writes H.G. Watson

By H. G. Watson

TVO

 

Doug Ford’s Tuition Changes Could Jeopardize Ontario’s Student Press

Ontario government plans to make it easier for students to opt out of paying certain levies

By Jaren Kerr

CANADALAND

 

Letter from the Editor

To fight for the future of The Varsity as an advocate, I am recusing myself from editing articles about student fees

By Jack O. Denton

The Varsity

 

Does Doug Ford want to kill student newspapers?

In the end, it doesn’t matter; the Student Choice Initiative will do irreparable damage

By Matteo Cimellaro

The Ontarion

 

Student Choice Initiative casts doubt on the future of a free student press

By the Journal Editorial Board

The Queen’s University Journal

 

The campus press is an essential service

Student Choice Initiative will risk student newspapers unless universities step in

By Iain Sherriff-Scott

The Queen’s University Journal