jeudi 22 novembre 2007

Health services, tuition fee, resources and management

Procrastinating once again, but in a productive way.

As every end of semester has a tremendously bad effect on people's morale, I went to shop at McGill for some counselling/mental health. Well, don't try. December 10 is the first appointment time for Counselling, and Mental Health has a 2-3 weeks waiting list.

Now let's not bash the administration. If you look your tuition fee on Minerva, you'll notice "Student Services Fees". Guess what? Students are paying for this, and the money is very indirectly administered by us (a.k.a. involved students sitting on the right committee turns down the budget or not).

I could tie this issue to the current thaw of tuition fees (50$ hike per semester, 2 semester a year, during five years [total 500$] to catch up with the freeze imposed by the PQ more than a decade ago). Wherever the money comes from, it's either the student without support/with the gov, the student's parents that are already progressively taxed, or the government from the student's parents' taxes (and let's not embark on corporation taxation).

In Quebec, we strike and protest and disrupt activities to be able to speak with the government. Elsewhere, we lobby and speak and push for issues, using the system in place to advance our interests. Being from Quebec and studying at McGill, I can't decide which approach I prefer. I like to protest and I'm getting better at lobbying.

If the student movement isn't making enough noise to get the government to listen, or if the government doesn't intend to fund university education anymore (but still at least support students in need through progressive taxation), the strike will be a failure. As long as there is some sort of safety net somewhere to support people in need, I'm fine with it.

Being a senator has made me realize how much resources are lacking at McGill, whether it is examinations administration or ensuring francophones students know they can submit their paper in French, and get it graded in a timely manner, as it is their right to do so. But money is not everything, and efficient management has a lot to do with this. As long as the said money extracted from anywhere doesn't channels through tons of administrative structures that gnaw on their part of the loot every time, I'm fine with it. I'm just selfishly in need of services.

So from that, I'm wondering where my path in life. I want to influence people toward becoming what I believe is right, following my own conception of the world. Should I stay at McGill one more year (is it worth it since there is so much to change, such as inefficient channeling of information)? Should I target individuals, families, business, governments? Which framework should I be part of, social, economics, politics?

Saving the world is definitely not an easy task.

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