The other night, as I struggled to keep my eyes shut, I thought about..
The University of Toronto. For the past 4 years I have attended the Mississauga campus, dubbed UTM. There are several things about this university that I have experienced that upset me, and I decided to research solutions to these problems.
The Problems with UTM
1) The University of Toronto has high tuition fees. The average amount spent per year by each student is 5613-5943 dollars. In Quebec, the average student spends between 2422-6112 dollars a year to attend The Universite de Montreal. The gap here is mind numbing. Not only is the university making so much on tuition fees, but this year alone made 1.8 million dollars on the interest they have for fees that are submitted late.
- Lower them. Clearly Montreal is doing fine without over charging their students. If other universities have thought about the students, and don’t over change them then maybe they’re on to something.
2) We only have 1 reading week. 11/20 schools in Ontario have implemented a second reading week in the first semester. This idea arose when a student became overwhelmed with the work load imposed on him in University and committed suicide. A survey conducted at Queen’s University showed that 4% of students said that in the previous term had thought about suicide. 10% said that they have thought about it at some point during their time in University.
- Why wait for someone to commit suicide? If more than half of the universities have already implemented this change and had great success with it, why are we so behind?
3) There is no puppy room. Dalhousie University recently opened a room that allows students to take their minds off work. What better way is there than to open a room that is full of puppies?
- Make a place, not necessarily full of puppies, but somewhere that students can go to lift their spirits and take a break from the stressful lives they lead.
4) The campus is constantly under construction. In the 4 years I’ve attending The University of Toronto the IB, Kaneff and North building have undergone construction. That is half of the buildings on campus.
- Maybe the construction could be conducted over the summer? Or perhaps multiple construction projects could not be done at the same time? Or, if there is too many students than there is space, maybe they should cut down of the number of students that they accept.
5) Half torn down buildings being used for classes. To go further with the construction, the North building is half torn down, yet still open for classes. I have a class in this building and it is loud, smells like tar and only accessible from one side now.
- Close a building down while it is being worked on. This isn’t an environment that teachers want to work in, nor that students want to learn in.
6) “On The Go” food prices. They are outrageous. I went to buy a sandwich on my 3 hour break. I saw a small ham sandwich and brought it to the register. The cashier informed me that my total was 7.99$. I laughed, left the sandwich and did not bother to eat.
- Sell affordable food. The mass market that you are appealing to is university students who are too busy trying to balance work and studies in order to put a dent in the amount that they paid for tuition. We need to eat, but can’t afford the food on campus.
7) The ROSI website. This website is not only hard to navigate, but it has a closing time. This website is open from 12:15am-3:30am and then reopens at 6:00am-11:45pm. I was, before this website, unaware that they could even have hours of operation. Also, every time I go to use it, it is either closed, or frozen.
- Get more tech people. This small task could improve the life of many students.
8) Parking fees. The best place to park on campus, the CCT garage is 933.94 a year. The cheapest place to park (where I park) is parking lot 4 and 8, and it is 644.92 a year. I pay, on top of my tuition, this extra amount, to park in a tennis court. Literally. And that’s if I’m at school an hour before my class starts so that I can find a parking spot.
- Lower the fees. There are days when I cannot find a parking spot, so I’m sure that the parking lot has been paid for many times.
9) Academic “Advisors”. I put this is quotations because that may be what they are, but I wouldn’t know because the lines ups are always full and I can never get a meeting. I have, several times, waited for 3 hours and then when closing time rolls around (4pm) I am left sitting there without having had a meeting.
- Hire enough staff to serve the students and meet the demands. I have been stuck far too many times trying to decipher the jargon that they write their letters in to solve my own questions.
- This happens every year. It’s not like it is a onetime thing. This means that they should hire more staff, get more registers and make the situation less stressful for the students.
11) The library. There are never any available computers or places to sit. An example of this is now, as I sit on the concrete floor of the CCIT building, leaned up against a wall on my laptop. Last week I decided to rent a laptop. After I spent 25 minutes looking for somewhere to sit that was near an outlet I realized that the computer they had just given me had 5% battery left and there was no charger.
- Don’t implement ideas that make the students feel like they are being thought of and then give them something that they can’t even use.
12) Too many students. In my first year I experienced several classes that had over 300 students in them. This made me feel like I was just a number.
- The university could spend some of the millions that they receive to hire more professors, not just throw in 10 T.As and expect them to mark everything. If the school would follow the Professional Writing Program and have smaller classes, I feel that more students would get the attention they need and actually learn something.
All these items have been dealt with at other schools, so why not here?
Instead we, the students, are subjected to the taunting of power hungry electoral candidates acting like they can or will fix all of these problems…
…and the pub closes at 4pm on Fridays.