Members of the Transitional Year Programme Preservation Alliance (TYPPA) are gearing up for a mass mobilization on February 27, 2014, the date of University of Toronto’s Govering Council meeting. The Council will meet to approve the development of “Site 10.” This decision will result in the demolition of 49 St. George Street, which houses the Transitional Year Programme, to make way for the construction of the Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepeneurship. If passed, TYP will be moved to the basement & first floor of a Woodworth College building, a much smaller space than its current space. More than half of the proposed space will also be shared with the college.
Militant students and alumni of TYP and their allies have been actively intervening in UofT’s board meetings to demand that TYP be relocated to a space that is comparable to its current home and for the program’s budget and operations to be restored to full capacity.In response, the administration has argued that the proposed smaller space allocated for TYP is based on its current operation.
“The provost keeps on insisting that the budget is separate issue from the allocation of space,” says one TYPPA member, “but we can’t be fooled, we know its related and part of the plan to slowly eliminate TYP.”
For the past few years, the administration has flatlined TYP’s budget, refused to replace retired faculty, and reduced its enrolment size. The administration has also been forcing TYP to amalgamate with Woodsworth’s Academic Bridging Program, a change that would compromise its autonomy and lose its focus on recruiting working-class, Black and Indigenous adults to its program.
“First, the university downsizes the program, then decides to move it a smaller space,” explains the TYPPA member. “And it is no accident that the space they have ‘found’ for us is in a college where they’ve always wanted it to be absorbed into,” the member added.
The Revolutionary Student Movement – UofT chapter, has been actively supporting the proletriat TYP students and alumni in their fight to preserve the program. “TYP is an initiative started by radical Black students, aimed to serve the most oppressed sectors of our society,” according to an RSM member, “it is the task of revolutionaries to protect the initiatives and advance the interests of the proletariat members of the student population.”
RSM believes that working-class, progressive students and youth must learn about the vital role that students and youth have and can play in the making of revolutionary history. It calls on all proletariat youth and students to join the February 27th mobilization in solidarity with program’s students and alumni. “It is not the university’s Governing Council, but rather the realization of our will to fight, that will ultimately determine the fate of TYP,” declares an RSM member.