Education Critic blasts Minister on MUN’s skating loop and president’s office renovations

MHA Barry Petten.

On October 18th, 2021, Education Critic Barry Petten questioned the Minister of Education Tom Osborne on the massive tuition hikes and misspending at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).

Petten stated, “our students rallied outside our building protesting government cuts to Memorial University of Newfoundland that will see massive increases in the tuition that many fear will force students to take crippling debt loads while living in poverty during their studies.” Petten asked Minister Osborne, “Why is government turning their back on students and allowing tuition to more than double?”

Osborne responded that “Memorial University came to the province back in April last year looking to double tuition in the province. At that particular point, we looked at the funding that we provided to freeze tuitions and felt it would be better to direct that directly to students. We put in place a new grant program, expanded the loan forgiveness program to help the families and the students of middle- and lower-income families of this province.”

Petten then said that MUN stated they had no choice but to drastically raise tuition due to the projected $70 million further cut from government over the next five years. He said that MUN also stated that they expect a 20 percent decline in enrollment when the massive tuition increases take effect. Petten asked, “how does throwing away the competitive advantage and tanking university enrollment help students of Newfoundland and Labrador?”

Osborne responded, “I can only speak the truth, and the truth is that we were approached by Memorial University a number of months ago… with a proposal to double tuition while the tuition freeze was still in place. We looked at that as I said and felt that if the Board of Regents and the university wish to increase tuition at the university, the tuition freeze funding was exactly for that purpose to freeze tuitions. If tuitions were not going to be frozen, the money could be better utilized in the forms of grants to ensure that middle- and lower-income families were not adversely affected.

Minister of Education Tom Osborne.

Petten then stated, “So the Minister is basically passing the buck back at MUN.” Petten said that he disagrees that it has nothing to do with the government’s actions. Petten noted that he was in favour of the tuition freeze remaining in place as it was a much better process than tuition fees tripling.

Furthermore, Petten stated that an access-to-information request that they obtained reveals that the new President of MUN, Vianne Timmons, spent $55,000 on renovations on her office before moving in.

Petten also brought up the new master plan that MUN is embarking on, which includes a skating loop for the St. John’s Campus. Petten said that when he asked the Minister in the last session, the Minister said he did not know about the president’s lucrative $450,000 contract plus benefits, including personal fitness and tax preparation. Petten asked, “Does the Minister agree with the skating loop with tuition set to more than double?”

Osborne responded that the government not knowing was “precisely the reason that government are looking at modification to the Memorial University Act. We did say that we would provide additional autonomy to the university, but that comes hand in hand with additional accountability. We are looking at giving greater access to the Auditor General, which is not currently the case until section 38 of the Auditor General Act. We are looking at having Memorial appear before the estimates committee of the House of Assembly. That currently does not happen. We are looking at other measures to ensure accountability for the taxpayers’ money that goes into Memorial University.

Petten then asked why they did not change the Act months ago. He said that it keeps getting pushed down the road as the government does with everything else. Petten stated that he was on record of asking for the Act to be reviewed and that his party was all in favour and supported it. Petten then brought up the university’s estimated $5 million infrastructure deferred maintenance deficit, numerous reports of leaky roofs and lab safety issues. Petten concluded by asking, “Why does the Minister believe these office renovations are a higher priority? Why wasn’t this Act reviewed quicker than what’s been done?”

Osborne asked which way the wind was blowing and said that in the last session of the House of Assembly, Petten stated that a review should not be rushed.

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

Remembering Judy Lynn Ford 41 years later

Judy Lynn Ford and students protesting after her tragic death.

Forty-one years ago, on Oct. 17th, 1980, at 2:25 pm, 20-year-old Memorial University of Newfoundland student Judy Lynn Ford from Port aux Basques was tragically killed by a dump trump while trying to cross Prince Philip Parkway in St. John’s.

Judy studied biology as her major with a minor in psychology. She lived in Squires House in the Paton College Residence on MUN Campus.

In a tribute written by biology Dr. Frederick A. Aldrich, he described Judy as “a quiet, industrious and intelligent young lady.” He also stated, “we — the faculty — must always remember that we are here because the Judy Lynn Fords are here.”

According to Peter Jackson, who was an editor at the student newspaper The Muse, “at the time, it was a popular place to cross the parkway because it was near the Chemistry Building, the library and the Thomson Student Centre, and led straight across to the Engineering Building.”

Rodney Ford (Judy’s father) with a plaque dedicated in memory of his daughter.

Jackson recalled that Ford was standing at the curb waiting to be acknowledged by traffic. A vehicle stopped for her that was in the closest lane, but the driver in the outside lane did not see her.

In a Telegram article, Jackson stated that the only alternative to the crosswalks was a dark tunnel behind the student residences. He said this was not a suitable option for many, particularly for women.

There were a number of student injuries leading up to Judy’s death. A divided road goes through the middle of MUN. As the campus and the City of St. John’s grew in the 1960s and ’70s, so did the amount of traffic.

Most knew that the Parkway was dangerous. The university agreed that overhead walkways were the solution; however, the administration would only commit to trying to find a solution to the cost — they would not commit to paying for it.

The incident resulted in a week-long student occupation.

Students protest.

According to Jackson, “students began crossing back and forth in an uninterrupted line.”

The police arrested students for refusing to move off the road, but as the number of students grew, police ceased arrests and instead diverted traffic at the nearby intersections.

According to The Daily News, “within an hour, the parkway (was) swarmed with an estimated 2,000 students protesting the absence of safe crossings.”

Jackson stated, “Before long, we resembled road-weary revolutionaries.”

Students shut down all the intersections around campus, and an estimated 4,000 students were there during peak times.

Fast-food restaurants, especially pizza joints, delivered free food to protesters.

According to Jackson, “at times it resembled one big street dance, but by the end of it there were also long spells of dwindling troops and dampened spirits.”

On the last day of the protest, hundreds of high school students left their classes without permission and joined in the protest.

Students protest.

An agreement was finally reached on Oct. 22nd, 1980; the provincial government committed to covering 75 per cent of the cost of the pedways, which amounted to $487,000, and the City of St. John’s and the university agreed to cover the remaining cost at $80,000 each.

“Judy’s death was, and is, a part of our lives. The vigil of the student body and friends has apparently led to the alleviation of the problem of (Prince Philip) Drive. But the tragic events of Oct. 17th had another and perhaps even better affect. The university became a community as I have seldom seen in many years,” stated Aldrich.

On the 39th anniversary of Judy’s death in 2019, the university unveiled a storyboard in her memory. Her parents and sisters attended the event.

Family members of Judy Lynn Ford (her sisters Linda and Rhonda, and parents, Rodney and Ida). Rosie Mullaley/Twitter.

In a Telegram article, Judy’s father, Rodney Ford, was quoted as saying, “it’s great how the students stood up and supported us; at least it will prevent some other family from going through what we went through. It’s always a very sad day — one we’ll never forget.”

In a CBC article, he described Judy as “a really great person. Really outgoing, really kind and always wanted to help everybody. She was never upset over anything.”

Shelley Smith states, “I remember it well. I was a student living in Coughlan College at the time, and we were a very active group of participants in the Parkway blockade.”

Jan Hardy Walsh said that she also remembers that day clearly and that she “cannot drive the Parkway without thinking of this, every time.”

Fred Dinham states, “Extremely sad day. I protested, marched and barricaded on crutches. I’m glad we remember her.”

A plaque rededicated in memory of Judy Lynn Ford located in the new pedway connecting the University Centre with the Chemistry-Physics Building at Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.

Almost all students on campus either took part in the protest themselves or knew people who did. It was the talk of the entire campus and the wider community. This movement was, and still is, an example of the power of collective action; the students would not stop until the authorities agreed to their demands, and they won.

Let us never forget the name Judy Lynn Ford.

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

MUNSU astonished by the disconnect between senior administration and students

Hilary Hennessey/NTV News.

On October 12th, 2021, MUN Students’ Union (MUNSU) External Director of External Affairs, Communications, and Research, Hilary Hennessey, spoke in a media interview about the criticism directed at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) for their campus master plan. She specifically took issue with the proposed skating loop project.

She states, “MUNSU is astonished with the disconnect between the senior administration and the Board of Regents and students within this university considering the survey that has been released regarding the skating loop.”

Hennessey says that it is not something that should be even discussed at the moment, even if it is in the distant future. She says the fact that the university released the statement means that they are talking about it instead of focusing on the “more important issues at hand that need be discussed before things that are 15 years down the road.”

Hennessey then spoke to the accessibility concerns, particularly with elevators not working and parking spaces not being properly associated with building regulations and accessibility guidelines. She then states, “We believe that those concerns should be prioritized over a skating loop at the moment.”

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

MUN proposes lavish skating loop while existing infrastructure in poor condition

Proposed skating loop and infrastructure woes.

On October 11th, 2021, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) tweeted, “A skating trail on campus? Let us know how you feel about the idea and others. Survey now open!” It was met with criticism across social media, and many people brought up neglect at the university.

John FitzGerald stated, “Memorial University is increasing tuition, but now it announces that it also wants to build a skating loop? MUN has lost its way and lost the run of itself. Too many overpaid administrators. Call in the Auditor General.”

Linda Russell said that her first thought when she read the article was “of the buckets catching the leaks in the tunnels. And of other crumbling infrastructure.”

Sgath asked, “How about focus on those immediate plans like fixing the crumbling infrastructure, asbestos, leaks and floods? They then stated that “Long term plans for an ice rink to bait and switch international students is tone-deaf, to say the least.”

MUNFA’s Robin Whitaker said, “Fine, but not until we can move around campus by foot, bike or wheelchair safely and without having to dodge highspeed, light-running commuter traffic (including the ones leaving the parkway to take a shortcut via Morrisey Rd & Arctic Avenue.”

Jeff Muggeridge said, “Wow! Lots of money at MUN. A couple of new high-paying management jobs and now a skating trail. Lower tuition again, please.”

Gerry Martin stated, “There seems to be a disconnect between the head and the budget. Who would believe jacking up tuition and building an ice rink came from the same person?”

Former journalist and current student Melissa Jenkins stated, “Well, the idea came from an architect firm in Toronto… so they are paying outside companies to come up with these idiotic ideas. The City of St. John’s already had the Loop and many skating places. This is absolutely unnecessary and a waste of money. Is this what my increased tuition has come to? Wasteful money ideas? I can think of 1,000,000 better ideas for money than this. Find savings, not spending.”

Local accessibility advocate Lisa Marie Walters stated, “You need to make the campus more accessible to disabled students first, and safer for everyone, so they don’t have to be exposed to asbestos on campus. Even putting in the work to have a rendering of this rink made is proof that you’re not listening to students’ needs.”

Steven Butt said, “You guys can’t even manage to keep the tuition frozen, never mind this thing.”

Twitter handle @GreatAuk709 states, “Cannot believe you are this disconnected from what is important for your students.  As an alumnus, I am appalled that you think it is appropriate to put this out there.”

Jennifer Dawe stated, “I would love this idea if the rest of the facilities were up to par, and there hadn’t been an exponential increase in tuition announced. This is tone-deaf at best.”

A picture by Twitter user @azuquita_morena.

Twitter user @azuquita_morena asked, “Why don’t we invest that money in fixing existing buildings? Giving the SWCC [Student Wellness and Counselling Centre] more money? Fixing all the broken elevators so disabled students can have an easier time getting to class? Instead of pretty photo-op places to bait and switch future students with?”

Vladimir said, “MUNSU has heard these comments so many times, and they still haven’t done anything about it. So that should show you where their priorities are.”

Joanne said, “Maybe fixing up the Reid Theatre would be nice. It can be rented out, which would generate much-needed funds for the university.”

Twitter user @CofIndustry asked, “Double the tuition during an economic meltdown, and the best you can offer is a shitty skating trail?”

Kathy Hogan asked the question, “This has to be a joke, right?” They then stated, “Crumbling infrastructure, asbestos abatement and leaks that have been on the go for decades (I graduated in 98, worked there in 07-08), and the Reid Theatre!”

Eva Powers Browne said, “Don’t waste money on that. I don’t go to MUN; however, the pictures and comments are shocking and a disgrace. Fixing the campus for students should be your first priority, not a skating loop which Bannerman Park has.”

Jen said that “Envisioning a student (who already has to navigate MUN’s grounds carrying 30-40 lbs of books, a tablet/laptop) now having to carry ice skates plus winter footwear? Nonsensical!”

Twitter user @Braepil stated, “Respectfully, MUN has difficulty keeping paths safe in the winter. Adding more ice to campus is not the solution.  Also, are the MUNnels still leaking? That may be a good investment.”

Twitter user @katcrumm asked, “can we get rid of the asbestos in the buildings, please?”

Cathy stated, “Let’s improve, update and maintain our current facilities before constructing new ones. Also, please consider reallocating funds to maintain tuition rates rather than developing another complex.”

Mike Pretty asked, “What is MUNs obsession with building new things with existing facilities falling down?”

Historical Archaeology Ph.D. student Robyn S. Lacy stated, “I’d love to be able to drink water out of the taps at Queens College, but unfortunately, all our pipes our lead, and no one seems to be interested in fixing that.”

Jan M asked, “Can we please just fix the leaks? Hoses into a trash can are not a fix. It has been years.”

A picture by Twitter user Jan M.

Alex Aucoin said, “I agree with everyone who mentioned fixing the asbestos problems. Also, this seems like a distraction from the tuition increases.”

Allison Murphy said, “Such a ridiculous idea, there is an infinite list of things that students are asking for on-campus – clean water, working elevators, asbestos-free buildings, more parking, better education- but this is what you will spend money & effort on? #putstudentsfirst”

Karen V Gill asked, “How out of touch with reality is Memorial University?” She then suggested, “How about fix the leaks, remove the asbestos, fix the elevators, make every floor of every building accessible, make the water safe to drink, replace the parking you took to display a whale skeleton, make each classroom accessible…”

Rebecca Williams said, “Elevators are broken, the tunnels leak, the Reid Theatre is left to rot, the threat of lead poisoning if the water is consumed in some buildings, asbestos….I could go on…”

Robyn LeGrow stated, “Just when you think the ivory tower couldn’t be any further from the actual realities being faced by ‘regular’ human beings, they put out stuff like this. Smarten up.”

Twitter user @IndecisivAnthro said, “Nobody asked for this… we just want the tuition hike cancelled.”

Kelsie said, “MUN, we all know you don’t need to build a skating rink when the entire campus becomes one in the winter and students have had to climb through snow to get into some buildings.”

Twitter user @RowdyFrowdie said, “The tunnels leak, disabled students can’t get to certain places because the elevators have been out of service for so long and most buildings are critical behind in maintenance. Focus on that instead. Some people can’t even skate; how is this a good use of resources??”

Former journalist Conor McCann stated, “It’s worth noting here that my retirement plan is, in its entirety, to be part of a class-action lawsuit against the university for some kind of asbestos-related respiratory condition.”

Christopher Mercer asked, “Can we get the physical education building renovated first, Aquarena replaced, the theatre in the area building operating again, etc., before we do this?” He then said that it is “a lavish and unnecessary expense given the state of our infrastructure.”

Morgan Manuel asked, “Next can we turn the MUNnels [system] into a hyperloop!?” They then commented, “Glad to see that extra tuition money is being well spent!”

Liam said, “I think tuition not more than doubling and asbestos-free buildings are a good start.”

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

The need for anti-oppression education


There have always been advantaged and disadvantaged groups in every society where dominant classes have ruled, aside from a few exceptions. These social and power relations in society usually went unchallenged either out of fear of violent repercussions under authoritarian regimes or the tactic of influencing and trying to control what people think and express by the state in democratic societies. Understanding oppression helps to challenge dominant viewpoints that enable the oppression of disadvantaged groups. Advocating for policy change and inclusion is necessary to progress towards a more equitable society.

Understanding the terms power and privilege is a must. Definitions I found helpful are from the Canadian Federation of Students. Power is described as “The use of advantages that allow some groups to have preference over or dominate others. Power is the ability to define reality, have control or access to institutions supported by the state, and have ownership and control over major resources.” Privilege is defined as “Systemic advantages based on certain characteristics that are normalized by society. Privilege refers to advantages dominant groups have whether they want it or not.”

Richard and Paula.

A comic by Toby Morris, “ON A PLATE: A SHORT STORY ABOUT PRIVILEGE,” does an excellent job of helping people understand privilege in visual form. For many in society, the idea of there being different inequalities is hard to see, as the idea that everyone has the same start and opportunity to work hard and be successful is prevalent. The comic compares Richard, who is in a warm home with food and books, and Paula, who grew up in a damp and noisy home and got sick a lot. Richard’s parents could be home and support him, whereas Paula was home alone as her parents each worked two jobs to make ends meet. Paula’s parents are happy with a B on her report card; Richard’s parents are worried and get him a tutor for receiving a B+. Richard’s parents pay for his university studies while Paula has to work and study. Richard’s dad has connections for him to get his foot in the door and obtain secure employment; Paula’s father is sick in the hospital.

Another important lesson to learn is the difference between equality and equity. Equality is everyone receiving the same treatment, and therefore everyone having the same opportunities for the outcomes to be equal. Equity is recognizing that people have different experiences. Equity is the idea of providing someone with the support they need to reach the same outcome as others who do not require supports. One of the images that is widely used to illustrate this idea is one depicting three people standing up on boxes watching a baseball game over a fence. In the first image, they each have a box to stand on, and this is labelled Equality. In the second image, labelled Equity, the first person does not have a box because he is tall enough to see, the second person still gets one box, and the third person gets two boxes to see. The images are side by side. Sometimes there is a third image, labelled Justice or Liberation, with the fence removed, so that they can see the game without accommodations as the cause of the inequality was addressed, hence removing the systemic barrier.

Much progress has been made, but there is still much more that needs to be done to achieve a genuinely caring and inclusive society. Anti-oppression education is needed in schools, workplaces, and organizations.

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

The Noreen Golfman show

Former MUN Provost Noreen Golfman sticks her tongue out at students protesting tuition hikes.

In the Fall of 2019, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) held a series of budget consultations sessions across its campuses led by then-Provost Noreen Golfman. Much of the discussions at that time are still relevant today.

Participants were presented with a list of 10 priorities: Academic experience (student support, wellness, advising), Advocacy, Faculty and staff wellness and renewal, Graduate fellowships, Increased efficiency (reduce duplication, align processes, outsourcing), Increased revenue, Indigenization, Infrastructure and technology renewal, The library collection, and Research.

They were asked three questions: to what extent do the following priorities remain, are there new or emerging priorities, and what else should the university be doing in response to the fiscal challenges.

On November 18th, 2019, there was a consultation held on the Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.

A person stated that research was added as it was not explicit enough in the list. They then stated that teaching is also not explicit enough, particularly for Grenfell, and that they do not have support for teaching excellence.

There was then a point made about communicating the story of Memorial to the public and that the senior leadership needs to keep the university’s importance and relevance at the forefront of the community. Provost Noreen Golfman responded by asking what that advocacy should look like.

Next, there was a question regarding increased revenue and what that means. Does it mean student fees and tuition? The response was yes, and there was agreement on differential professional tuition. However, there was a point made regarding still maintaining the progressive fee.

There was then a question regarding why a budget cut is so much greater for MUN. It was stated that between 82 percent to 88 percent of the university’s budget is from government funding. It was said that there needs to be a common front among folks who are a part of the university community. A point was raised about balancing the special obligation to the people of the province to be educated and aspirational. Between 14 to 15 percent of the university’s budget comes from tuition. At other universities, it is between 30 to 60 percent.

A question was asked regarding what the university is doing to advance the province and what else the university should be doing.

It was brought up that TransformUS – USASK – asked units to sit down and examine every aspect of administration and academic programs (curriculum). It was stated that there were some positive aspects, including a critical review of every academic program. However, it was stated that it was hard, and it blew up in their face – a nasty experience. Another person had a different perspective and pointed out that the senior leadership took hard hits but that the value to the university community overall was beneficial in the end.

Transform included a lot of public campaigning by faculty members. Tenured faculty members were on the radio, and members of the university wrote op-eds to keep the message current in the minds of the community. They went from a deficit of $45 million to a deficit of $5 million.

A point was brought up about the importance of different people writing op-eds and not just administrators. It was then stated that TransformUS by the University of Saskatchewan was problematic but that the activity of each unit focusing on its activities did yield some positive initiatives.

It was brought up that there were students concerned about WIFI access and that the system was overloaded. It was said that WIFI access points at some areas of the university are inadequate. Then it was asked how the university is to determine how the IT infrastructure is kept up for both student access and teaching access. A point was made that the microwave ovens interfere with the WIFI in residences. It was also asked if there is a platform for students to lobby the government. Provost Golfman responded that the students’ platform is the university platform and that we are all in it together.

It was asked why the university is investing in the Core Science Building when the current buildings are falling down. The cost for this new building is $325 million. It was stated that the university needs to revitalize the things they have as well as invest in new.

It was then asked if the university had plans for a capital campaign and why fundraising had not been an initiative. This was followed by a statement that the conversation needs to be changed from budgets to teaching and how the cuts affect teaching because it’s supposed to be about learning and the students. It was asked if the university could go to the government for funding for a capital project. Provost Golfman responded that those monies are done. She stated that the 2004 whitepaper money helped and that they hope to have more whitepaper money. Golfman then asked the participants what the campus should be pitching to the province for its specialties.

A person asked if a new president coming is a good thing and that it will be tough for them. However, they stated that it could be a chance to build a good relationship with the government.

At the November 19th, 2019, 3 PM session on the St. John’s Campus, around 25 people were in attendance.

Director of Student Life, Jennifer Browne, stated that under the priority of academic experience that experience is not just through the journey in the classroom but also many of the experiences students have outside of the classroom. She stated that the operating budget is $7,000 to operate after salaries are paid and that they would not be able to do anything with the new student services fee. She also said that the Student Development fee funds a lot of great initiatives. She said they are improving student success by enhancing the first-year experience and infusing career into first-year counselling. She stated that they are doing these things because they want the student experience to remain. She then brought up a point about recruitment and retention and the engagement of students, and getting them to enjoy the experience.

A person said that picking priorities is a mugs game and that all these things need to happen and that the gap is increasing in terms of the known and anticipated costs and budget allocation. They asked how the university could continue to do this.

A staff member stated that technology should remain a priority and that few things happen on campus that does not involve technology. They said that technology renewal needs to be on the list of priorities. The staff member then brought up wireless internet as an example and stated that students used to take 1.1 devices but now 3.1 devices per day. It was stated that there are a large number of data centres on campus and that there is a lot of pressure from ageing infrastructure and evolving competency requirements. The staff member stated that 28 years ago, it would have been possible to be a generalist, but that is no longer possible. The staff member stated that there needs to be better sharing of technology and better refresh of technology. It was stated that duplication in technological needs to be looked at and that it is not just about new technology but to foster relationships across campus and partnerships.

A staff member stated that in order to thrive that there need to be support groups for research and academic programs. They said that the university needs to renew instructional technology, tech services, and general infrastructure and that this is difficult to do with the budgeting challenge. They said that there is a $4.5 million budget with $5.2 million in salary expenses and that it will not be possible to survive without charging for services. He said that it is crucial to be highly engaged in the academic and research community.

Another person brought up the importance of maintaining the academic core mission of the university and maintaining faculty and staff positions within academic units. It was stated that maintaining the faculty complement is critical to all the university’s prioritized because as complement goes down, it affects departments’ ability to offer programs. There are fewer courses and electives as a result, along with program closes. This all negatively impacts the quality of the student experience. It was stated that it also affects the university’s reputation if there are not enough faculty to conduct research, disseminate new knowledge, and develop new programs. It was also pointed out that reduction in complement affects the university to support the provincial strategy to close the skills program. It was stated that many students value the program experience providing an opportunity to study and work in the province. The academic experience is important, but many students value the program experience more like students in B. Comm Coop.

A point was then made about cyber threats and defending personal data and intellectual property. It was said that they had seen an alarming increase in these threats and are shifting some of their priorities to address them.

It was then brought up that a lot hinges on the infrastructure piece and that a lot of things cannot happen without investment in infrastructure. The roof on the Math and Stats building was rated as the worst infrastructure of any math department in Canada in a recent AUP review. It was pointed out that graduate students require more resources and that the university will not see continued growth in graduate studies without investment in infrastructure. It was recommended that perhaps an asterisk should be placed next to infrastructure.

It was then noted that complement, student success, and infrastructure were common concerns. A point was then made about addressing the climate crisis whenever the university looks at new initiatives and that it would help in student recruitment if it was seen as a priority.

Another person said that infrastructure does a lot for morale and that they have effects beyond just fixing the roof. An emphasis was placed on how we can forget that morale can also suffer.

A point was raised about priorities within priorities. It was asked how the university is to balance new and emerging opportunities and existing challenges like acquiring the battery and purchasing the GEO Centre.

A person then brought up a point regarding the Blundon Centre. It was asked how the university is to ensure that they are providing all students with an equally rewarding experience. It was stated that MUN is more accessible but that there are more demands on resources.

The presentation of the university to the wider community was then brought up. A person stated that it is essential that the university changes the way in which it presents itself to the province as the province is not aware of many of the challenges that the university is facing, like the reduction in history courses. It was stated that much is spun by the media and that the narrative in the public needs to change and that there is a need to create political will.

It was then suggested to continue the investigation in reduction of duplication. The university needs ten different systems to manage multiple projects when 80% of the capabilities are shared among all systems.

A person then said that in addition to technology, the university must get smarter in procurement and buy in bulk. The university has a new strategic procurement division that will reduce costs in price management.

A question was then asked about Brightspace. A person said that it was crappy and asked why the university spent more money on Brightspace when open-source software can do more. It was stated that there needs to be an investigation of open-source options.

A student said that the university needs to change the way it presents itself to others. They stated that the public is not aware of the challenges and that the public needs to be reminded why Memorial was established. They said that the province’s best example of remembering WWI should not be allowed to crumble as well.

Provost Noreen Golfman then spoke to the points made and questions answered. She said that work was ongoing but that there were pockets of resistance and that doing this costs money and takes time and resources to put into place.

Regarding funding campaigns, Golfman said that the university’s development office is under-resourced compared to other institutions. She noted that Memorial has a quiet campaign as there are no resources to undertake large initiatives.

Golfman then addressed the comment about advocacy that some of the water cooler conversations suggest that Memorial is bloated in its administration. She said there are other countermyths out there as well. Golfman stated that the post-secondary review panel had heightened awareness of the university’s situation. She said they do a decent job at showing the public what is actually happening at Memorial. She said that $25 million a year is needed to get MUN to the point of not derogating the university more.

Golfman then brought up the comprehensiveness of programs and that they need a way to balance how to maintain the SME complement across academics. What does the special mission to the province mean if the university is not comprehensive?

There was another session held on November 19th, 2019, that took place at 7 PM.

A student stated that the progressive tuition model that the administration is proposing is a lazy way to increase revenue and will make the university less accessible for some. The student questioned who will decide which students pay how much, and it could lead to a model of more support for some and less support for others.

MUNFA President Ken Snelgrove asked if the university should be involved in the re-distribution of wealth. He also asked if the university should be looking at a means test to determine students’ ability to pay tuition and questioned the role of that for the university.

A student said they have not seen the administration hold a town hall to explain to the public why the government is wrong and misguided in its decision to cut funding. The student said that the administration’s comments about budget cuts are a smokescreen. The student then stated that it was the administration’s job to convince the government of the value of Memorial for the university to receive the best possible funding from the government. Next, the student questioned why members of the administration were not doing their jobs.

MUNFA President Snelgrove stated that he agrees with the student. He says that the students, faculty, and administration must come together to frame a common story, not to the government but to the people of the province. He stated that folks at MUN must come up with a compelling story about the survival of the university and that MUN should be an important part of the future of the province. He also said that the people of the province need to advocate more for the importance of Memorial to the government.

A student made a recommendation to reduce administrative costs. They suggested a 3% reduction for staff making $300k or more, 2% for $200k or less, and 1% for 100k for a total savings of over 1.5 million per year. The student asked if the administration would be receptive to this.

MUNFA President Snelgrove stated that he could not support the student’s suggestion from the perspective of MUNFA President. However, he stated that there should be cuts to staff costs that he said have been enormous.

Snelgrove then commented on the productivity at the university. He said that a lot of time is spent at the university and a lot of time at the Math building. He stated that people are spending a lot of time shuffling around to accommodate work in the building, such as for asbestos abatement, and it seems like many people are distracted. He said that it is difficult to focus on their core mission and that the tools that they need are not close by. He noted that MUN needs productive workspaces beyond safe workspaces. He stated that there is a need to focus on energy where it should be focused and that the university should be looking at what is a productive workspace. He said the university should ask units what makes a productive workspace.

A student asked if it would be possible for there to be an external audit of MUN’s budget and spending. The student stated that it is not the job of the Auditor General. The student said that Provost Golfman travels the world on the dime of the students. The student stated that administrative bloat, hosting costs, and external consultants’ costs are just what is currently known. The student said an audit is needed so it can be seen where the administrative bloat is.

Snelgrove said that he is concerned about the pension issue, which is why he got involved in MUNFA. He said that it has been an issue year after year and that the pension has not been addressed at all. He said it continues with no answer, and he worries that these are not static issues. Snelgrove said he is worried about what will happen in the long term. He said it is stable in the investment world but asked what happens if there is a downturn.

A student brought up a statement that former Premier Brian Tobin made many years ago “students made it impossible for me not to freeze tuition fees.” The student asked about benchmarking in tuition and what the university is not trying to be the most accessible and asked why not be an example to the rest of the country.

The next question for participants was about emerging priorities and that we must address significant social changes, including equity, diversity and inclusion, and climate change.

Snelgrove said that he was pleased to hear about the partnerships with the territorial Governments. He said that it sounds like an opportunity for revenue growth by partnering with other groups. However, he said that on the other side the university could increase revenue or reduce costs. He stated that the people of the province need to realize what is going to be lost if cuts are made across the board. He said it leads to productivity decrease and is taking up much time. He said that decisions need to be made about what will not be here, a plan for fiscal responsibility.

A student asked if it would be possible to get a commitment from the administration that there would be a student referendum before more fees are implemented. The student said that it is the idea that the administration has that they know what is best for students. The student asked why the university couldn’t leave it up to students to decide whether the fees needed to be implemented.

A student then asked about senior administrators’ salaries and if they would take a specific cut and then talked about extreme wage disparity.

A student then asked how the students and the administration speak with one voice when they have conflicting goals. The student said that they did not have a chance to have a say about the student services fee and the infrastructure fee.

With regards to advocacy, Golfman said that she agrees that the university needs to continue to communicate with the government about the situation of Memorial. She said that the government tells the university that they need to manage the cuts the best they can. She said that it would be great if all residence of Newfoundland and Labrador would get behind the university to get across the importance and need for funding to the government.

Golfman said that it is not a decision for the university between reducing expenses or generating revenue, but the university needs to do both. On another note, she said that the university needs to find a way to produce the best working and learning spaces possible.

Another session was held on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019, with around 40-50 people in attendance.

A student asked why the administration imposes the idea that the university must operate as a business when the university is a public institution. The student then brought up the concept of professionalism and that these people are just simply performing a role. The student brought up the privileged status of Ph.D.’s. The student said that the way the student services fee was implemented had limited consultation. The student stated that the previous Director of Student Life was one of the main people behind implementing the fee and then left MUN. The student then asked why the university allows administrators to implement new fees to enable these individuals to advance their careers.

A person brough up the issue of efficiency levels with the cut in staff positions and how it can be maintained. They said that everyone feels the crush. They then asked how the university can provide a positive experience for students when their environment is not in good shape.

A student brought up accessibility and students with disabilities. The student said that the Blundon Centre had been neglected for years, and it was only recently that they finally hired additional staff for the centre. The student asked if it would be possible to place a higher priority on accessibility, like the unsafe condition of the elevators in the education building. The student then asked why the university seems to encourage students to file human rights complaints rather than dealing with those issues and helping students.

The Dean of Graduate Studies, Aimee, stated that she agrees with the student’s comment. She said the EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) must be kept at the top of our minds. She said that adding to the university’s priorities is not easy, but it is a significant value. She stated that graduate fellowships are incredibly important for accessibility for students from a variety of backgrounds.

A person then stated that it is becoming apparent that it is challenging to implement new programs and change existing ones. The person indicated that without faculty and support to proceed that it is hard. The person said they met with a group that wanted to introduce a program for teaching the hearing impaired, but it cannot be developed. They said that looking for external funding adds another layer of challenge. They said that programming for the deaf and hard of hearing has disappeared in NL. They asked how the Dean can be responsive and make programs accessible.

Another person brought forward a perspective from the lens of both the academic and administrative sides. They said that they support the comprehensive piece and that renewal will bring in new skill sets. It is essential for program development. They stated that they had a child who went to Queen’s University because the program was not offered here at MUN. From the administrative side of things, she said her eyes had been opened to the IT infrastructure challenges. They then said that with respect to administrative efficiency – staff reductions had reached their end.

An individual then reinforced the point made about staff reductions being done and that now it needs to be looked at how to incentive sharing resources and partnerships across the units. They said that people are increasingly operating in silos when budgets are tied. They then said that new program development, like special fees, had allowed the development of new programs. They stated that that couldn’t be done at the undergraduate level due to tuition being too low to make new programs cost recovery.

A student stated that the proposed progressive tuition model is false and that it will leave out a high number of students who will not be able to access Memorial. They then stated that students would be left out if they do not meet the criteria. The student then asked if salaries would be decreased and if administrators would take a salary cut. The student specifically asked about the president’s salary and whether it will be reduced or remain on the backs of students?

A person then brought up a point about space and buildings and how Memorial struggled with the issue. They asked how Memorial can use the physical infrastructure to increase efficiency and improve the academic experience. They then asked if the buildings were being used as efficiently as possible. They then stated that it is not just about deferred maintenance and that it is part of the efficiency and infrastructure.

Another person stated that it is disappointing to try to advise students when space is not appropriate, and there are no suitable alternatives available. They said that scheduling software would be an excellent way to improve the use of space.

It was then asked if leasing empty office space in the City of St. John’s would be an option while the university deals with deferred maintenance. Better collaboration is needed across the university.

A student then asked if the university could give students the option to opt-out of fees.

Golfman said that the principle of ensuring access to programs might need to be nuanced to include EDI issues. She said that it might end up being a priority based on the discussions they’ve been having related to the consultation sessions. Golfman said that the diversity of what faculty and staff look like is increasing, and the university needs to consider this. She noted that homogeneity is not always the best option.

Regarding space issues, Golfman said that there is a buildings and space committee that is looking at the campus and how it is used. She said the university needs to be more efficient and student0centered when assigning space across campus. Golfman said that space is not being used wisely.

Furthermore, Golfman said the nuancing the priorities out more. She said that both herself are the president are against an academic prioritization exercise and called it an unhealthy activity.

The next session was held on November 21st, 2019, from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM.

A person asked about increased revenue and said that tuition is a small part of revenue. They asked if the university had made any projections to show the impact of rising tuition and showed it to the government. Golfman responded that it is a mote concern that if the university raises revenue through tuition, that government will claw back that amount from the budget allocation.

A student asked why the university is stuck in a neo-liberal model with annual revenue generation. The student then said that the focus is on short-term gain and not a long-term vision and asked why the university chose this model. Golfman said that she did not understand the question and that the university is in short- and long-term survival mode.

A person then states that there has not been a strategic plan for increased efficiencies, infrastructure, and tech renewal. They said that a plan is needed to identify how the university can be leaner. They then said that folks at the university need to work together more and stop protecting their own silos.

It was then stated that the downturn in industry and economy added to the government cuts and made it hard to build an entrepreneurial culture. They said that this makes it difficult to plan. Additionally, they state that being locked into collective agreements adds to the challenge. They said that the university needs to look at the entrepreneurial approaches to increasing revenue.

A person stated that they worked in DND during the Decade of Darkness (Rick Hilliard), and the organization would email all members asking for suggestions and ideas to save money. They said that this could also be done at MUN.

Another person brought up increased revenue and how other universities are exploring innovative models across the university. For example, partnerships with sports teams, parking, vendors on campus (food), technology parks, leasing space with partners who collaborate with the university (revenue or leasing), outsourcing of services and partnership agreements, and separately incorporated units. They said it is essential to make it a win-win situation regarding revenue and cost-sharing.

A student said that the federal government gave several hundred million for the Core Science Building and asked why they can’t provide money to offset the budget issue. The response was that education is a provincial responsibility.

A person asked about the concerns or issues in exploring shared costs across and with the government. They stated that the approach works with the college next door to explore synergies and that MUN need to find ways to collaborate more. Golfman responded that it is a political challenge that raises questions about the university’s autonomy. She said that they are sitting at the table in good faith but that they do not want the university’s infrastructure and capacity to be used or exploited to the detriment of the university’s services.

Another person suggested a review of charge-out rates for the equipment that the university offers to the community. They said that industry should pay fair market value for the services that the university offer. They then stated that they were surprised to learn that the charge-out rate for the Flum tank had not changed in 10 years.

The issue of faculty and staff wellness was then brought up, and it was said that there would be more stress on the people remaining to do more work and that this could lead to individuals taking more time off.

A person then brought up parking issues and asked if that is a way that the university can work with the city to change the local culture rather than posing it as a university-only issue. Golfman said that the university has been doing that.

A point was then made about revenue generation at MI and that Transport Canada is going to announce that they will take foreign seafarers and allow them to work on Canadian vessels. It was said that students want to come to Canada and that the university should develop online modules that are student-led and self-paced. It was stated that people around the world want a Canadian education, including international seafarers. Instructors and developers will be needed for a project like this.

A person said that folks at the university need to get the good stories out to the public and suggested that this can be done by sharing them with Paddy Daly on VOCM. It is most important to do this when the provincial government starts talking about MUN’s budget.

A student asked if the provincial government decides to implement an out-out of fees model similar to that in Ontario if MUN has a plan if it happens.

A person asked if large endowments like SUNY have been considered. Another person stated that the cost per dollar raised is 12-14 percent, and nationally, it is 25 percent. They said that MUN does not have the same history and programs are younger; they grew up while donors were more restricted in their donations. They said that old endowments would have been open and support operations. They stated that making a significant operating revenue would require a very sizeable endowment, but it can significantly impact targeted initiatives.

It was then asked if it has ever been considered to share major infrastructure between MUN and Dalhousie University like ships. They asked if the infrastructure was desirable and if it would be a federal interest. Golfman responded that the Oceans Frontiers Institute was the first real breakthrough in this regard.

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

MUN hires Executive Director with over $130K salary

Michelle Snow/LinkedIn.

A recently obtained ATIPP request reveals the salary of Memorial University of Newfoundland’s new Executive Director of the Office of the Board of Regents, Michelle Snow, at $130,880.

Snow’s salary represents Step 8 of the 9 step Senior Administrative Level 14 scale and can be increased to as high as $134,928.

The Executive Director position reports jointly to the President and Vice-Chancellor and the Chair of the Board of Regents.

See employment contract below:

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

Memorial University Libraries’ fact sheet

A recently obtained ATIPP through Memorial University of Newfoundland reveals a document titled Memorial University Libraries Fact Sheet – April 30th Final Version.docx. It was prepared by Descanal Assistant to the University Librarian Jackie Pitcher-March for President Vianne Timmons’s meet/greet with the University Librarian on May 4th, 2020.

See document below:


(April 30th, 2020)


Memorial University Libraries is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest libraries with eight branches on each of Memorial’s campuses. In addition to providing access to millions of physical book and digital access to e-books, journals, and other resources, the libraries house several specialized archives and collections, including the largest collection of published materials about Newfoundland and Labrador in the world in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. The Libraries encourage innovation and excellence in Memorial’s teaching and learning, research, scholarship, creative activity, service and public engagement. Our website and strategic plan are located here: website; Re.Imagine_Strategic_Plan_2018-2023.



  • We place student experience and development at the core of what we do:

Memorial University Libraries is a key contributor to student learning and success. From library instruction, to providing quiet and collaborative spaces, to programs and services such as research support, Libraries have a positive impact on student retention and add value to their overall academic experience.

In 2018/19:

  • Libraries provided access to 2.5 print and 1.97 ebooks
  • Answered over 13,000 reference questions
  • Received over 1 million visitors
  • Over 45,000 items loaned
  • Over 2,600 comfy seats in a variety of collaborative and quiet study space
  • Over 20,000 social media interactions about our 24/7 during exams

We create environments that foster excellence, unrestrained inquiry, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. Information discovery, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information to create new knowledge and engage in scholarly conversations is based in librarian expertise:

Librarians design and deliver and promote information literacy and the effective use of library collections. The Libraries lead institutional initiatives regarding copyright and academic integrity.

We provide critical access to technology and emerging trends in the digital environment:

The Libraries’ Commons spaces (in partnership between CITL and ITS) provide key support to students such as tutoring, a Writing Centre, Digital Media, assistive technology resources, and printing. The Libraries also provide key access to emerging technologies such as area for maker culture where students explore and discover new ideas to create and invent by using tools and materials, soldering kits, electronics, and 3D printers.


Our librarians and information specialists empower the research process and support academic success. Librarians are key to the research cycle, navigating through multidisciplinary research platforms, analytics, data curation and sharing, digitization, as well as metadata services:

  • 34 Librarians
  • 87 Staff
  • Online e-reserves system that integrates with Brightspace and include copyright clearance
  • Administers of Academic integrity 100A/B, a two-part, fully online course

The Libraries have identified research visibility and research data management as strategic projects of pan-university importance to increase the global visibility of Memorial’s research and strengthen its research data management best practices:

  • $120,000 in Open Access funding for Memorial’s academic community
  • 129,449 downloads from the Research Repository
  • 1,759,622 Objects on the Digital Archive Initiative
  • Hosting 18 E-journals


We are key to fulfilling Memorial University’s special obligation to the people of the province.

Memorial University Libraries is uniquely positioned to support the university’s core priority of Public Engagement. We promote and preserve invaluable cultural and historical resources and provide access to outstanding and unique collections, particularly from the Archives and Special Collections Division and the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

  • 24/7 global access to our online resources
  • Over 100 collections on the Digital Initiative (DAL), with 672,000 downloads yearly from the Digital Archive Initiative
  • Over 1,100 alumni with active library cards


COVID – 19 pandemic response (since March 19th)

  • All employees working remotely.
  • 1230 questions from users via chat and email.
  • 29 chat monitors covering 81 hours of coverage seven days per week.
  • Added over 240,000 e-resources to our catalogue temporarily available to the Libraries.
  • Added 5435 items (like articles or book chapters) in our eReserves system.
  • 82 per cent increase in virtual reference questions when physical buildings closed.
  • 25 per cent increase in Libraries’ instructional YouTube videos.

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Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

MUN President’s briefing note for CHMR interview

MUN President Vianne Timmons and CHMR logo.

A recently obtained ATIPP request through Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) reveals a document titled Briefing note for CHMR. MUN’s Manager of Communications, Dave Sorensen, prepared briefing materials for President Vianne Timmons’s interview at CHMR radio.

See document below:

Briefing note

Media interview with student radio station CHMR reporter Steven Finn

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 8:30 a.m.


An introductory interview with the new president, Dr. Vianne Timmons.


Student radio station CHMR broadcasts on the FM dial at 93.5. While it has low listenership among the public, it is the most active of campus student media and has a good following among students.

While I’ve not had an interaction with the reporter Steven Finn, CHMR reporters covering campus events are usually easy to deal with.

Mr. Finn says he will use Squadcast to record the interview. This is a web-based app that will record sound for upload to the station. While there is a video component, it is used only for interaction, not for playback. You will get a link to the interview “room.”

The questions will be similar to what you have answered in other introduction interviews since April 1; what are the challenges facing Memorial, why you came to Memorial during such a challenging time, budget/tuition; why the decision to go to remote in the fall. Given the audience, responses should be student focused.

Key messages


Members of the university community have been incredible in their support of students during this unprecedented time. As well, the students themselves have been stellar in response to the pandemic.

Moreover, Memorial’s expertise has been critical as the province responds to the threat and challenge posed by the spread of COVID-19.


  • Many of our postgraduate medical residents are continuing their education while serving health-care teams on the front lines with regional health authorities throughout the province.
  • Dr. Proton Rahman, associate dean of clinical research in the faculty of medicine, was recruited to head up the province’s medical analytics team, which was responsible for developing the province’s short-term models of Covid-19 spread.
  • Memorial is collaborating with the provincial public health lab test PPE to ensure locally made or re-used face masks meet the rigorous testing criteria to be used safely by health care workers. Units involved are Engineering, Medicine and out Technical Services unit.

Possible questions

Why did you decide to go to remote instruction for fall semester?

  • Decision guided by the principles of safety, mental health and equity.
  • Fall semester will feature a remote teaching and learning environment. In-person, on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021.
  • Early decision was necessary to allow for planning. CITL, our teaching and learning unit, for example, can now start planning now that they know we are going fully remote.

How will Memorial accommodate international and rural students remotely?

  • The principle of equity is crucial.
  • No matter how challenging it may be, we will be supporting students in every way we can to persist through their programs during these uncertain times. We will be offering supports to help prepare new students for the online teaching and learning environment and we will do everything we can to enable student success.
  • Helping students secure summer work and register for courses in order to make sure they have structure to their days and some income.
  • Letting students know they can rely on us to support them when they are in distress.
  • There is a student emergency fund for all students that the community has been generously supporting. The students’ union donated $20,000 and on Thursday, Fortis announced a donation of $35,000. This is helping students through this difficult stretch.

How can you support high school grads heading to university?

  • Looking at programming for students, such as math placement tests, bridging courses and courses that allow students to explore areas they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to study in high school  – e.g. criminology, folk arts, etc. We want to give new students the chance to explore potential career paths.
  • We will be offering preparatory courses, courses to introduce new students to university life and now and to online line.

Are you concerned about enrollment because of COVID?

  • Enrolment for spring semester was up by 10 per cent for undergrads.
  • It won’t be the same as in-person, but our faculty members are committed educators who will offer the best experience given the circumstances.

What is your plan moving forward?

  • There will be much discussion to come, among faculty, staff and students. The Senate will play a significant role, as will the Board of Regents.
  • Strategic planning process is taking shape already.
  • Looking at a possible federal infrastructure plan and we have shovel-ready projects that could address some infrastructure needs should that program happen.

Additional messaging

  • While the halls and parking lots look empty, the business of the university continues. For example, staff in the Academic Advising Office have responded to almost 2,000 student emails since the transition as students work through the transition to remote learning.
  • We estimate that more than 90 per cent of employees are logging in through remote systems and a limited number are working on campus in critical functions and with physical distancing and health and safety protocols in place.
  • Thank faculty members for their quick work to transition to remote delivery in a relatively short period of time.
  • Thank students for their patience and flexibility, and openness during these uncertain times in their academic journey.


  • Always Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Multi-campus university; Marine Institute and Grenfell Campus. Hopefully a campus in Labrador in the near future.
  • Special obligation to the people of the province.
  • Meeting people and listening and will continue to listen.

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Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

Vianne LIED

Vianne’s promise to current students

May 3rd 2021: If tuition goes up, Timmons said, students currently enrolled will pay the same as what they are currently paying. “There will be no student who is presently enrolled in Memorial that will be compromised.” – CBC

Only to break it two months later:

July 9th 2021: “Current students (including students who will be registering in the 2021-22 academic year) will pay tuition at the current price per course plus a four per cent annual increase between fall 2022-25.” – The Gazette


Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.