CMU Students Mark Tuition Freedom Day
On November 25, students at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) stopped
paying for their education.
No, they aren’t going to school free for the rest of the year—someone still
has to provide funds to keep the university open. It’s just that they aren’t
paying the bills anymore.
November 25 marked the day in CMU’s fiscal year, which runs April 30 to May
1, when tuition fees paid by students no longer cover the university's expenses.
After that date funds from the provincial government, church groups and
individual donors take CMU through to the end of the year.
Students paused to mark the date at a special Tuition Freedom Day forum on
November 26 at the university.
“After November 25, all services at CMU are being provided by other sources,”
said Student Council President Dylan Tarnoswky. “We want to say ‘thanks,’
because we want to go to school and we want to graduate.”
CMU’s total budget for the year is around $12 million. Of that amount, 38
percent comes from program fees and tuition, approximately 25 percent comes from
the Manitoba government, and roughly 16 percent comes from churches and donors.
The remainder comes from student housing income and facilities rentals.
Special thanks were given at the event to churches and donors. Dan Block,
speaking on behalf of the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba, said that “we
believe in students who willfully opt to embrace a Christian worldview, and
intentionally integrate faith into their educational pursuits . . . we can’t
help but remain engaged with CMU and you.”
Curt and Buetta Warkentin, who graduated from CMBC, one of CMU’s predecessor
colleges, spoke on behalf of donors by saying that their experience as students
motivated them to give now.
“My time at CMBC helped develop pieces of myself that I can now five back to
the world at large,” said Buetta, who now teaches social work at Winnipeg’s
Booth College. “It had a lasting impact on my life,” added Curt, who is an
Assistant Director of Athletics at the University of Manitoba.
For CMU President Gerald Gerbrandt, the event was an opportunity to
“highlight that paying for higher education involves a partnership among
students, the government, the church and generous supporters, and then to thank
the government and others for their participation.”
CMU students Kirsten Hamm (left) of Altona, Man. and Student Council President
Dylan Tarnowsky (right) of Calgary, Alta. express their gratitude on the "Wall
'O' Thanks" at the November 26 Tuition Freedom Day forum.
Posted November 26, 2007
For more information contact CMU Communications Director, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 2N2, telephone: 204-487-3300 ext. 630, fax: 204-889-1694, (www.cmu.ca)