For the fourth time this month, students at UBC have congregated to fight the proposed housing and tuition increases announced three weeks ago, landing a major victory for the movement.
Students arrived in the hundreds to the UBC Alma Mater Society’s Annual General Meeting, where they needed an attendance of 500 students to launch official action against the university.
At its peak, the meeting had over 700 attendees, with standing room only. Over 500 students voted for the AMS to take a stand against the fee increases, while reaching a quorum for the first time at UBC in 40 years.
“Students were very excited for the motions and clapped after every motion passed,” said Janis Vetsch, an international student who attended the meeting. “The sound of ‘yes’ in unison literally made me have shivers; it was great to see our students come together.”
— Samantha Truong 張遠群 (@samanthaatruong) October 28, 2014
If the planned increases go through, student residents will be paying 20 per cent more per year for campus housing, meaning a rise of $105-140 a month per student. Incoming international students will also be paying 10 per cent more in tuition, beginning September 2015.
UBC students and community members have not taken this news lightly. The #IAmAStudent movement has gained traction over the last few weeks, including a teach-in on October 14 drawing upwards of 350 students throughout the day, a general assembly on October 21 and a campus-wide protest on October 24 including almost 400 students.
Students will convene again on November 3 to decide on future actions, including further protests, sit-ins or teach-ins.
Coincidentally, the historic quorum was achieved on the anniversary of the Great Trek, the student movement that founded today’s Point Grey campus.
Feature Image: Jason Rowe / Flickr