Sorry students

Please note that the title is intentionally, and correctly, punctuated. I make no apologies to these self-entitled, ignorant, juvenile students who are fighting the selfish fight after years of undercontributing.

A few quick problems to note:

Students keep bringing up “$1,625” as the yearly tuition increase. For the students currently in university, it won’t be close to that. It’ll be $325/year. In Quebec, most university programs are 3-year programs, not 5 years as the dollar amount suggests. It’s easier to inflate the number for public sympathy (which ironically is lost when you prevent people from getting to work and earning money to support their families) than to tell the truth.

And to those who prefer the argument that a student with 3 years left in their 3 year degree (since they missed all of their classes this year) would have a total extra bill of  $1,950 ($325 the first year, $650 extra the second, and $975 extra the third), I answer simply with the fact that after they graduate with a degree, they should expect to make back that entire sum in ONLY THREE WEEKS OF WORK. And that’s if you are making $34,000/year. If your goals are to earn less than that, perhaps university isn’t the place you should be right now.

It’s unbelieveable to me how students are so willing to put their own desires over those of hard working taxpayers who, by the way, are VERY HEAVILY subsidizing their lowest-in-Canada education. And for what? Quebec boasts one of the highest university attendance rates in the country at the same time as one of the lowest graduation rates. It’s not a huge leap to conclude that the low cost of attendance has absolutely no impact on churning out more educated, qualified graduates. The evidence shows that the low tuition thus far has only meant more people IN university, not more people who FINISH university. So what are these non-graduates doing on our dime? Partying? Drinking? Certainly not studying or working hard. For anyone who is committed, completing an undergraduate degree is simple. It requires hard work and dedication, sure, but that’s the minimum that one should display when they ask the public to pay 83% of their university experience.

Oh, wait, they didn’t ask us to pay – they expect us to pay. Sorry, students (again, punctuated correctly), the free ride is over.



  1. You’re right, Shane. Sorry for the inaccuracy. It is currently 88% – which is the number I should have used when referring to the current attendance and completion statistics. Thanks for the correction. Sadly, 88% just makes the students’ behaviour even more appalling.

  2. You do realize that the same students protesting (who will eventually get jobs and pay taxes) will be paying for your pension after you retire right?

    Also, I think it’s time you stop with generalizing students with “partying and drinking..” Although most of my classes are canceled, I am still hard at work finishing papers, assignments and participating in my online classes.

    Painting all “striking” students with the same brush sure does make us sound lazy and selfish. Although I am participating in student protests and marches, I would never block a bridge or prevent any other student from attending classes.

    But hey, it’s free speech, so go ahead and claim students are all the same.

    • Nick, if the shoe doesn’t fit you personally, please feel free to not wear it. That fact, however, does not change the reality we see on the ground. I am not targetting you just like I cannot do anything but generalize. In fact, generalizing is what unions and student associations beg us to do – to see their group as a whole and not as parts. They do things to prove the solidarity and the homogeneity of a group to show the strength of their cause, so it is completely disingenuous to complain when we, the public, do exactly what you have implicitly asked us to do.

      Specifically though, thank you for drawing your personal line before blocking bridges and disrupting classes. If your way of protest does not infringe on others’ rights, you won’t get a problem from me, and you aren’t targetted by my complaints.

      As for my future pension, that’s part of what I’m afraid of – that they don’t “eventually get jobs and pay taxes” that will support my pension the way us current workers are supporting the pensions of those that came before us. And how does your pension argument change anything in this discussion? (Seriously, I don’t understand the relevance, please explain). My taxes are paying the pensions of seniors today just like someone in the future will pay mine, and someone later in time will pay theirs. It’s deferred benefits – a common social program. How does this change how I should be seeing or treating today’s students who are fighting over $2,000 (using their arguments)?

      For the record, and to be even-handed, if you are continuing your work while on “strike”, I commend you. It’s a little duplicitous, but I hope that this work you’re doing ends up counting for you, because the strike you are supporting risks nullifying this whole semester (or year), which would mean that not only was the strike counter-productive, but so was your anti-strike schoolwork. That’d be weird.

    • hey nick. most of them at concordia had silent elections so most anti-strike students couldnt get their vote in. they are also ALL blocking off streets and causing more problems than need be. the idea of war is to yell charge and attack the enemy. i didnt know that in this case, it would turn into screaming “charge ” and shooting themselves in the stomach. its hard not to generalize when all of these strikers(all really boycotters) are blocking off the streets, drinking coffee, and playing hacky sack (if thats how you spell it and i dont give a damn). its stupid. im in the accounting program and no one voted for a strike. hardly anybody at the business school voted for a strike. no one i know in a science program voted for a strike. it seems as if some people care about their education and decide they dont wanna be rebels without a cause. lets get our degree, get outtaaaa here and contribute to the economy.

      • Blocking streets, marching and protesting is what attracts attention. It’s how one’s voice gets heard and has proven effective in many instances.

        People just can’t sit at home and wait for change. You can’t hate on people who want to make a difference, even if you disagree on how they are doing it, unless of course, they are physically harming you. I highly doubt that anyone is preventing you from attending your business classes. Like you said, the faculty voted against it, so no one should block you.

        So what if they are making noise on the street and blocking part of it. Your whining more than the ones complaining for lower tuition. Get off your high horse, open your mind and realize that people have opposing views and that there are different ways to geting a view across. Again you might not necessarily agree with how they are doing it, and that’s perfectly fine, but to student “strikers” it seems like the best option at this time.

      • Why the personal comments, Nick? If you’re such an expert in “realizing that people have opposing views and that there are different ways to getting [it] across” then why do you need to make it about being on a “high horse” and having a “closed mind”? Could it be that you can benefit from practicing what you preach?

        And why would a faculty voting against a strike prevent strikers from blocking business students? That’s EXACTLY what they are doing – preventing students who chose to study from doing exactly that!

        You’re right though that this kind of action has proven effective in many past instances. That’s why it’s happening now and that’s why, if we want it to stop, it cannot be an effective method of protest this time.

  3. I never said I was an expert. I accept the fact that people have opposing views and I clearly wrote that in my previous commet. The high horse comment was not even directed at you. Phil disagrees with blocking streets but does not suggest alternatives. I agree that he should be allowed to go to class, but I am unaware of people picketing business classes.

    Associations who vote for the strike are only supposed to picket classes within their programs. If anyone is picketing business classes, iI would assume it’s due to the CSU.

    Another thing I noticed is that all we do is complain (I myself am guilty of this as well). No one is suggesting alternatives to the strike. I also don’t know what else one can do besides protest and march in the streets if they want to have their voice heard. Are there better and less evasive ways?

    • Nick, I don’t limit myself to responding to comments for me or about me. I believe in promoting constructive, respectful conversation and I commented because I felt that your choice of words weren’t constructive or respectful.

      As for “students are only supposed to picket classes with their programs”, consider that since students are “supposed to” be in class, and NOT “supposed to” block bridges, I don’t expect or trust students to police themselves and do what they are *supposed to* do. They have not earned anyone’s trust nor the benefit of any doubt.

      Is this conversation about alternatives to the strike? I didn’t think so. But if you insist, writing to your MNA is a good start – the same response as any other citizen who is unhappy with a government decision. And – more importantly, students who want to have a say should (generalization alert!!!) get off their lazy, subsidized, entitled asses during the next election and VOTE! Young people are the group with the single lowest participation, age-wise, in elections.

      In my books, if you don’t bother to vote, your opinion on political matters doesn’t count. Don’t expect me to listen to your whining on the streets if you didn’t bother to make your voice heard at the polls.

  4. Those students should get out and visit other province and country and they would understand that they have it good. In Ontario 1 semester of College was costing me more than 1 years in university in QC. In the USA I was paying 4000$ per semester, my roommate became a doctor with 250 000$ of University debt. I am from Quebec and I can openely say that we tend to complain that we are paying too much taxes, but we don’t want give up any social programs, well money doesn’t grow in a tree and in life we have to make choice. Raising University fee is just logical.

  5. Have a look at this report on tuition fees, published by IRIS, an independent research institue. It talks about some of the issues you bring up in your blog. Nowhere in the document does it mention striking or protests but it does provide interesting facts and statistics about tuition in Quebec. Feel free to provide constructive counter arguments if there is anything you believe is false or misrepresented.

    • James, thank you for posting this. I have not read it yet but I will and, as you rightly invite, will point out any constructive counter arguments if I should have any. I agree that it’s important to hear both sides of an issue, and I appreciate your subtle emphasis on the word “constructive”. So important.
      Best wishes.

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