Saturday, February 24, 2018

Open Space: Cut corporations from Camosun

October 5, 2016 by Josh Christopher, contributing writer

The privatization of Canada’s education system marches onward: Camosun College celebrated its opening day by turning into a shopping mall at CamFest. Our subservience to the corporations that dominate Canadian life was naked for all to see.

Entering the central walkway at either campus during CamFest, students were ushered through a gauntlet of corporate solicitation. They were lashed with sales pitches and pushes to divulge their contact information so they could be further squeezed for money. Students pay to come to school to learn; instead, they were minced through a corporate meat grinder built to churn out obedient workers and greedy consumers.

Numerous companies, organizations, and banks were all peddling their wares. The event felt like it was designed to get students used to the reckless urge to fork over their earnings for more mass-produced garbage.

This story originally appeared in our October 5, 2016 issue.

This story originally appeared in our October 5, 2016 issue.

CamFest is put on by the Camosun College Student Society (CCSS); Camosun provides the largest amount of sponsorship funding for the event, according to the CCSS, but the other sponsors are a lot of opportunistic corporations, ever eager to shape young minds into loyal consumers.

The citizen’s servitude can also be seen in the education system itself. For quite some time it has focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), because that’s what profits business.

In the void of government funding, with students milked dry for tuition money and myriad other fees, schools accept big money, in the form of donations, that dictates which programs live and which programs die.

It’s no surprise that it can sometimes be difficult to find classes in social sciences like history and politics. People taking such courses do not profit private capital, and such subjects are dangerous to the elite. People learning about a system that enslaves them would not be good for private businesses like the ones that were advertising at CamFest.

Disciplines like the arts are called “obsolete,” despite all the beauty they have given to the world. There is no place for a modern Mona Lisa. All that fits into the economy of the future are more bronzed bull statues.

What will you do with a philosophy degree? English? What a waste of four years! And don’t even think about sociology. How does that benefit business?

Yet these are the programs that teach young people the critical-thinking skills necessary to question the status quo. Such students learn to make the world a better place.

The college itself cannot be blamed as it flails helplessly, seeking ways to keep programs alive. Education is on life support, corporate taxes wane, and politicians lust after the end of their public service so they can go into the light of seven-figure corporate consultation as a reward for exemplary work.

It’s the system that’s broken, and it’s the system that we must fix. The students shall inherit the earth; when that day comes, let us leave these corporate juggernauts where they belong—as an ancient relic to study in history class.

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