This fall, many colleges and universities in British Columbia will be getting some first aid in the form of band-aids placed on “cuts” around campus. Members of CUPE 15 (Langara Community College and Emily Carr University of Art & Design), CUPE 1858 (Vancouver Island University), CUPE 2081 (Camosun College), CUPE 3338 (Simon Fraser University), CUPE 3479 (North Island College), and CUPE 4951 (College of New Caledonia) will be affixing a band-aid to problems on campus caused by devastating funding cuts to post-secondary institutions. Examples of these problems include cancelled programs, peeling paint or leaking pipes.
Communities suffer when colleges and universities are under attack. Funding cuts cause tuition fees and student debt to rise, limiting accessibility. Public funding is essential for post-secondary institutions to be accessible and to maintain freedom of thought and academic inquiry. Yet public funding for some institutions in BC has fallen by as much as 38 per cent during the past decade.
CUPE’s Stop the Cuts action kits provide everything members need to highlight the campus problems. The kits contain actual band-aids, peel-off stickers, and larger cardboard band-aids – including one that doubles as a bookmark. There is even a band-aid that is so large it does not fit in the kits. Members can get this one from their local.
With this campaign, CUPE members are raising public awareness about what is happening to post-secondary education in BC and building support to help pressure government for increased funding. The Stop the Cuts campaign is expected to run for two years. Photos of the band-aids with descriptions of the cuts will be sent to locals and posted on stopcuts.ca.