Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Students suing for "Technology Fees"

Two students launched a class-action lawsuit yesterday against Ontario colleges for charging extra fees for things like "Technology Enhancement". They say these costs ought to be included in their tuition, and are trying to make the case that charging extra fees is illegal, under the Ministry guidelines.

Okay... fine. As someone in the I.T. industry, who worked for a while for my college IT department while I was going to school, I know at least a little bit about the situation.

Since the costs of upgrading the IT infrastructure are not covered by tuition fees, I'll propose a deal for you suing students. The colleges will complete their IT upgrade projects they already have the monies for this year, and won't charge any more fees. Of course, this will result in a "what you see is what you get" situation, where the PC that presently sits on the desk in the computer lab will still be sitting there five years from now... if it's still working, of course. No more upgrades, and when a system breaks down, it will just be scrounged for spare parts to try and keep the other thousands of PC's going for as long as possible. But hey, you'll be a winner, because you won't have to pay that pesky $107.10 "Technology Enhancement" fee anymore.

Having worked in the computer labs before, I can tell you, charging $107 bucks a semester is a very reasonable thing to do. Most students abuse the systems like there's no tomorrow, wreaking keyboards, screwing up the OS with all sorts of bugs, with a really selfish and abusive attitude of entitlement towards the equipment. The costs of maintaining these systems alone is huge... and that's just the cost of paying a student to do most of the work.

If these two sue happy students would work at changing the culture of their own generation, instead of joining the sue-happy lawsuit after lawsuit activist generation, maybe the schools would be able to cut the fees significantly, through a massive reduction in the labour costs of maintaining these systems for the student population.

Here's some irony for you... I remember how ticked off students were when they couldn't get access to a computer when the labs were full. Imagine how ticked off they're going to be if these two activist students are successful in their class-action suit.

Who knows, they might even be ticked off enough to, I don't know, suggest a new fee be added to their annual costs to enable the school to provide better computing facilities...


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