Fall Reading Week
Do you want a Fall Reading Week? The Central Student Association is looking at the possibility of introducing a Reading Week in the Fall semester at the University of Guelph. This week would likely include the October Thanksgiving holiday.
Winter Reading Week is fast approaching; what will you be doing? Catching up with family and friends? Going on a vacation? Participating in a Project Serve volunteer trip? Volunteering? or Reading/homework!? No matter what you spend your reading week doing, this break mid-semester is crucial to keep up your motivation for the rest of the semester.
Reading week gives students a break from the hustle and bustle of University. This can do wonders for the mental well-being of many.
This week could:
- Give you time to catch up with readings (and faculty have more time to catch up with marking and lesson plans), and other assignments you otherwise may have seemed impossible to complete.
- Give you time to re-evaluate your semester.
- Give you time to think about dropping a course if you need to: this week is close to the 40th drop date.
- Start applying for summer jobs
- Ease transition for first-year students. This is often their first time going home since starting University
- What else could you do with this time?
Many universities are seeing the benefits a fall reading week could introduce to its students, faculty, and workers. Those that have a Fall Reading Week are:
- Brock University
- Carleton University
- Laurentian University
- Nipissing University
- Ryerson University
- University of Ottawa
- Universit of Toronto
- Trent University
Those with some form of break in the fall semester are:
- York University, co-curricular days from October 30- November 1
- Western University with a Fall Study Break on October 30 - 31
- Queens University with University Day on October 16
- Algoma University has Founders Day on October 9
- U of G Counselling Statistics
- Cannon Article asking, "Why No Fall Reading Week?"
- Guelph-Humber Fall Reading Week Debate
- Mental Health Crisis at Ontario Universities, MacLeans Magazine
Pay More Get Less
In Ontario, we pay the highest tuition fees and have the lowest per-student funding in the country. The Board of Governors, the highest decision-making body at this university, voted to increase tuition fees last year as well as this fall. We’re now facing 32.4 million dollars in program cuts, so we’re actually paying more, and getting less in return! Join the movement to protect quality, accessible education. Let’s fight the hikes!
Ontario has the highest tuition fees (which increase each year) in the country with the lowest per-student government funding. We have the highest student to faculty ration and some of the largest class sizes. Students are more in debt than ever and the high costs of education continue to disproportionately affect marginalized groups and lower-income students. In this way, we are paying more, and getting less! For more research and fact sheets visit CFS - Tuition Fees.
The Impact on Our Campus
At the University of Guelph, we are seeing tuition fees increase year after year, the charging of illegal ancillary fees, capital campaigns, partnerships with the private sector, and a decision to cut $24.5 million worth of our academic and non-academic programs. Enough is enough!
What Needs to be Done
It's time for the University of Guelph to stand with students and pressure the provincial and federal governments to prioritize post-secondary education to show that making up budget shortfalls on the backs of students is unacceptable. We need a post-secondary education system that is public and accessible.
Every April, the Board of Governors vote to increases our tuition fees by an average of $200 to $300 for most students and have been doing so for years! Massive debt, having to work while we study, and the exclusion of low-income students are the outcomes. Increasingly, students are required to foot the bill while the government refuses to adequately fund post-secondary education.
It's time for us to tell the university and government that enough is enough! The hikes stop here! Join our Pay More Get Less Campaign!
- For more information and resources visit Guelph Students
- For more information about the national campaign for accessible education (brought to you by CFS) visit Facebook - The Hikes Stop Here
- To see who sits on the Board of Governors and what their affiliations are, visit U of G - Board of Governors
There are also 2 undergraduate student representatives on the Board of Governors who act as your voice.
If you or your group are interested in getting involved with this campaign, please contact our External Affairs Commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org, or our Academic Affairs Commissioner at email@example.com.
Open Source Textbooks
Open source textbooks save students money! Over the past 15 years, the cost of university textbooks has increased more than four times the rate of inflation. As students, we spend as much as $500 to $1000 on textbooks and other course materials.
The average graduate from university in Canada is left in $25,000 in debt. While high tuition fees are the main reason for this debt, textbooks also play a role in increasing debt for us students and making university education inaccessible.
The Central Student Association is asking professors to look into the feasibility of open source, peer-reviewed textbooks being used for subjects they teach this semester, and in the future. Below is a list of links to Open Source Textbooks and Journals students and professors at the University of Guelph can use free of charge:
- BCcampus - the British Colombia provincial government has a collection of open textbooks aligned with the top 40 highest-enrolled subject areas in the province
- OpenStax College - provides free, peer-reviewed textbooks
- Open Textbook Library - hosted by the University of Minnesota, and provides a catalogue of 150 open textbooks covering Business, Accounting, IT, Economics, Math, Humanities, Law, Math & Statistics, Natural, Physical and Social Sciences
- College Open Textbooks - many peer-reviewed textbooks and lists textbooks by subject
- DOAJ - Directory to Open Access Journals:
For a list of more websites that provide access to open source textbooks, visit Where to Find Open Textbooks