Hello my fellow ACC students, moving into the last stretch of the academic year, our team has been diligently working on student initiatives, specifically advocacy. As some of you may know, the recently released provincial budget has seen significant budget cuts to post-secondary education. It is with great disappointment that I inform you that the proposed tuition increase has now become a reality with the ACC Board of Governors voting to increase student fees by $250 per program effective for the 2018-2019 academic year.

In addition to hikes on tuition, the Manitoba Government is planning to go ahead with the cut to provincial health care coverage for international students. International students already pay significantly more than a domestic student at ACC. On average, domestic students pay almost $6,000 per year, while international students pay approximately $15,000 per year for the same programs. To add, losing their provincial health coverage may be a huge deterrent for students choosing to pursue their education in Manitoba.

As the ACCSA President and an international student myself, it is my job to represent each student that will be affected by these changes. Having a seat on the Board of Governors is not enough to ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of students. As students, we are stakeholders and we need to be vigilant and work together with one voice.

The ACCSA is currently recruiting our incoming executive who will be representing our students in the upcoming year, as my term ends in May. These challenges are a strong reminder of how important it is for us to engage knowledgeable student leaders that are aware of the issues that face today’s student. I encourage you to get involved, ask questions and know the issues. We cannot sit back and wait for someone else to stand up. It is our duty to be engaged and to work together.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit accstudents.com.