USSU President FineDay calls for increased access for underrepresented groups

February 11, 2015

Canadian universities must work harder to increase access for traditionally underrepresented groups such as Aboriginal peoples, refugees, youth-in-care, and those with low socioeconomic status, says Max FineDay, President of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union, in a recent post to Academica’s Rethinking Higher Ed Forum. FineDay points out that many institutional mission statements suggest goals of enriching the public good or serving the local community; however, he argues that many universities fall short of this goal. Noting the benefits of programs such as those offering tuition credits to former youth-in-care, FineDay states, “We don’t need more reports, recommendations, investigations, or focus groups. We need action. This should be prioritized by all universities in partnership with the diverse communities affected.” He says that universities need to create and implement action plans with timelines, and that governments need to support these plans financially. “This will take time and perseverance. We may not get it right on the first try—but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. The benefits are too important,” concludes FineDay. Rethinking Higher Ed