A university “by and for” Franco-Ontarians remains worthy of pursuit even if we fail to change the system that makes it possible. That remains an objective even if we cannot realize it without radical change in the system.
The University of Toronto is a university in a democracy whose mission is to provide a university of the highest quality to our students and teachers in a free and fair society. Today’s students want a university without a single political agenda or a single campus, except one.
The Ontario Confederation of Student Associations is the largest democratic voice in the student movement. It has been working for decades to mobilize students for the transformation of the University of Toronto. Over the years, it has developed a new vision for the evolution of the University for future generations. At its March 23 summit, the COSA presented an ambitious plan for a public, democratic university, where students would play an central role in all decision-making and would be free to explore and express their cultural and intellectual interests.
Instead, the University of Toronto’s board of governors, headed by the University’s president, decided to continue the same politics of exclusion, apathy and a single, narrow vision for the University of Toronto.
The recent announcement by the University of Toronto’s board of governors that it will not offer a single course that is not “politically” approved from a list provided by the university’s faculty and staff contradicts the objectives of a truly democratic university. The board of governors’ decision to continue the politics of exclusion and apathy has made it clear that the University of Toronto will continue to maintain its politics of exclusion, apathy and one-sidedness, just as it has for the past 50 years.
A public, democratic university that has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the intellectual, cultural and social life of its students and teachers cannot survive with a regime whose leadership depends on politicians without a mandate