News | PGSS talks tuition refunds

Councillors lay out vision for education summit

At last night’s October meeting of the Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) Council, Provost Anthony Masi said that until McGill gets a written directive from the government, it will not refund the already charged higher tuition rates.

“A verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” Masi said.

Université du Québec à Montréal is in the same boat as McGill, having already charged their students the increased rates, while Université de Montréal and Université Laval had been waiting for government directive to charge their students fall tuition.

Masi said that several issues surrounding the tuition freeze are still unclear, including whether universities can start indexing their tuition to inflation this year or next.

McGill’s plan to raise tuition was thrown into confusion last spring, Masi said, after Premier Jean Charest’s Liberal government changed its plans for the hike amidst student protests. There has been no communication between McGill’s senior administration and the new Parti Québécois government, according to Masi.

Other PGSS council business concerned ongoing communication with the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), the provincial lobbying organization of which PGSS is a member.

Councillors also discussed their vision for the upcoming Quebec Education Summit. The summit, organized by the new Parti Quebecois government and expected within 100 days of the September 4 election, is billed as a consultative forum to address issues like university governance, funding, and tuition.

FEUQ plans to ask the government to create a “presidential committee” of four members: a student, a faculty member, an administration representative, and a government representative.

PGSS Council voted yesterday to ask FEUQ to add a fifth member – a graduate student – to the hypothetical committee, as well as to ask FEUQ to ensure that the meetings of the committee be public and accessible.

Council also voted unanimously to endorse Social Work student Leah Freeman for Vice President of FEUQ’s National Council of Graduate Studies. Freeman would become one of only a few anglophone members of FEUQ’s executive committee.

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