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Dal students are pissed

I roamed around the Student Union Building, Killam Library and Life Sciences Centre at Dalhousie University, questioning students at random. Here are 11 things that Dal (and University of King’s College) students are pissed off about.

Tuition increases

Of the students asked, the most common response by far was that students are pissed off about the increasing cost of tuition, specifically international tuition and the disparity between what international and domestic students pay.

Sloane Haywood says that she understands Dalhousie doesn’t get a lot of funding from the government, but still thinks it’s unfair that the burden has to fall on students. 

John Victor Stephan says when he came to Dal two years ago, he was proud to tell others that it was a good university with a good ranking. Now, he says he would suggest against people attending because the international fees have gotten to a point where it’s not worth it and there are better universities to choose from. 

“It’s just a really huge fucking difference,” says Stacey Boulter, referencing the difference between what international and domestic students pay. 

Study spaces

Multiple students are pissed about the lack of good study spaces and study hours. 

“Honestly, the Killam is the most depressing library I’ve ever seen. There is no natural light in there,” says Sara Mehda. 

Another student, Bagne Ginez, points out that it’s often hard to find a seat at the library because it’s so busy. 

Stephan, who lives in residence, believes students should have a 24-hour study spot on campus. Recently he wanted to pull an all-nighter to study for an upcoming exam, but the Wi-Fi in his residence was out.

“I thought I would go to another place, but there wasn’t anywhere to go,” complains Stephan. “Everywhere closes at 11 p.m.” 

“We pay $20,000 in tuition and I think the law library closes at four,” says another student who is studying law and wished to stay anonymous. “It’s fucked.”

The broken sink at Dalplex

Haywood is pissed about the broken sink in the women’s changing room of the Dalplex. 

“[It’s] been broken for literally three months. You don’t have a maintenance guy? You don’t have a plumber?”

Masks

Alexander Platz — while content with most of the Dal experience — is pissed that masks are still required in classes. 

He pointed out that in many parts of the country, masks no longer need to be worn. 

Accessibility and mental health

Emma Thornton Ockrant is pissed that certain professors are not accommodating to her accessibility concerns. 

“You’re looked at, from the professor’s point of view, as asking for more than anyone else, when you’re just asking for different things,” explains Thornton Ockrant. She has ADHD and says she has had professors call her belligerent, tell her she’s asking for special treatment and even yell at her over her accessibility requests. 

She says that she doesn’t blame the accessibility centre because they are trying their best, but that their communication with professors could be improved. 

“I feel like I’m gonna be here forever because I can’t get [accommodations] to get the things I need to pass my classes.” 

Another group of students who asked to remain unnamed said they wished their professors would be more understanding with their requests for accommodation because of mental health concerns.

For them, mental health awareness week was not enough. 

“I’m already aware of my mental health. I know that it’s bad.” 

Black History Month events

Harmony Adesola is pissed that not enough was done at Dal for Black History Month. 

School spirit

Owen Porter is pissed about Dal’s lack of willingness to promote school spirit. 

“There always seems to be a clash between Dalhousie and the town, instead of trying to make things positive,” he says. Porter thinks that Dal could be more proactive and on big days, where it’s expected that students will be celebrating, let it happen on campus. 

Aryaman Pandey thinks that there are not enough social events run by Dal to meet new people, hang out, and talk. 

“I feel like there’s a lot of studying and that’s it.”

Divesting

Zoe Newstead is pissed that Dal isn’t divesting, meaning that they are not removing their investments from fossil fuel companies that contribute to the climate crisis. Divest Dal held a rally in early February to push for this.

Parking

Marissa Hurst is pissed about parking, believing parking should be included in tuition and there should be more parking spots available. 

“I don’t even park on campus anymore, because I can’t find spots, even though I pay for a parking pass.”

The Grawood

Rukmann Sandhu is pissed that Dal lacks a proper campus bar. She doesn’t like the hours of the Grawood, which closes at nine in the evening.

“Nobody wants to go to the bar on Wednesday at 3 p.m.,” says Sandhu, remarking that if the hours were better, the Grawood would have one more customer. 

Residence

Sally Minton and Leah Simons are pissed about their King’s residence building. Specifically, there is a mould problem in the bathroom that has been there since at least the beginning of the year. Plus, they’re upset about the inadequate quality of the food and poor hours at their dining hall. 

“The dining hall closes at [7 p.m.] on weekdays and on weekends at [6:30 p.m.], which is ridiculous,” says Simons, noting that you’re not even allowed to take food out of the dining hall. 

“You always fall asleep a little bit too hungry,” adds Minton.

COVER PHOTO: As the end of the year approaches, Dalhousie students are upset. About a lot of stuff. (Andre Hunt)

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