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VANCOUVER — Students have started to demand tuition refunds at UBC, and there is even talk of some of them suing the university. This comes on the back of a number of stories of sub-standard education since the teaching assistants withdrew their services last Monday. In one mid-term exam, several hundred students had so few proctors that they could not be prevented from talking during the exam, until one frustrated individual stood up and asked everybody else to shut up. The teaching assistants’ union, CUPE 2278, has also received statements from UBC faculty about professors having to “dumb down” final exams in April because of the class disruption caused by the job actions. “These are genuine comments we have received from professors here at UBC. However, this is a sensitive issue for them, and we prefer to respect that by not making their names public.” said a CUPE 2278 representative.

One teaching assistant received the following letter from a second-year student whose exam had started late and without the correct papers:

“I have to say that my appreciation for what the TA’s do just increased after the way yesterday’s midterm went. How disorganized and frustrating was that? I don’t think I did as well as I should have, given all the distractions. I hope the TA’s come back soon! ” [name withheld]

“Some students are asking for their tuition back. We think this is entirely reasonable. It is becoming clear that if the administration does not move to end this strike soon then a UBC degree will not be worth the paper it is written on,” said Alex Grant, CUPE 2278 president.


Alex Grant 604 916 2117, or see cupe2278.ca