UNB once again reaches into the empty wallets of students.

This week, UNB has once again turned its back to students by voting for an increase in tuition fees for students of 140$ for domestic students and around 400$ for international students [1], The tuition increase further marginalizes Indigenous students as well, who already face significant obstacles in obtaining post-secondary education, even though they are a large growing demographic in Canada.

UNB has been patting themselves on the back for their efforts in attracting students to UNB, and on the other hand, UNB reaches into the empty pockets of students to take away what we were hoping to use to buy groceries or pay rent. Is UNB asking us to give up food and a roof over our head to educate ourselves? Student enrollment is already going down in the Atlantic provinces [2] and these changes will only make it worse. If UNB really wants to bring students to Fredericton and Saint John, it should think about making it easier for them to live.

All the while, mental health issues have now become the norm on campuses across the country, with alarming rates of students seeking mental health support, some even resorting to suicide [3]. The student debt is literally killing our youth.

UNB must stand with students and address the root problem, rather than simply throw the bill on the backs of students and let our hospitals deal with the problems. Everyone needs to do their part in order to address this societal problem.

The future of NB depends on how we treat our youth, and Administration and government need to take this seriously.

References:[1] http://www.unb.ca/vpfinance/budgets/2017-18_budget.html[2] http://www.mphec.ca/research/maritimeuniversitystatistics/enrolment.aspx[3] http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/new-brunswick/young-people-mental-health-help-1.4140954