Langara Faculty Association protests education cuts with transit ad campaign

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Reported by Christopher Thoroski

LFA treasurer Jessie Smith with one of the ads for the Open the Doors campaign.
Photo by Christopher Thoroski.

The Langara Faculty Association is launching an ad campaign ahead of this May’s provincial election to protest cuts to post-secondary education funding by the B.C. Liberal government.

The ads will be launched Feb. 20 and displayed on buses and at SkyTrain stations in the Greater Vancouver region.

“The purpose of the campaign is to alert people to the crisis in our sector, to pressure all political parties to make a restoration of the funds to our sector and to inspire people to vote on May 9,” said LFA treasurer Jessie Smith.

The LFA’s move is part of the larger Open the Doors Campaign, by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC.

According to the FPSE, the BC Liberals have cut per-student funding by 20 per cent and increased tuition revenue by 400 per cent in the last 15 years.

Balancing work and school can be difficult for students

Filip Wiatrak, a second-year theatre production student at Langara, said he thinks managing work around a class schedule is difficult for students.

“If we got assistance for our education so that we didn’t have to focus on money as much as we currently do, I believe a lot of students would feel a lot of weight lifted off their shoulders,” Wiatrak said.

Andrew Wilkinson, minister of advanced education, said in an email statement that the BC Liberals are committed to keeping post-secondary education affordable.

“Students consistently tell me that they are pleased with the high quality of their education and feel that they are getting great value for their money,” Wilkinson said.

However, NDP’s education critic Rob Fleming disagrees with how the government funds education.

“I think British Columbia has declined in terms of its investments in post-secondary education under this government to an appalling state,” Fleming said.

VIDEO: Students vote for the best ad to be displayed on transit starting Feb. 20. Video by Sean Hitrec and Melanie Green.

 

Below: Infographic of operating grants provided to Langara College from the province (2006-2007 to 2016-2017).

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