Student Organizations as Historical Actors: The Case of Mass Student Aid
AbstractThe National Federation of Canadian University Students (NFCUS) and the Canadian Union of Students (CUS) had historicity; that is, they helped transform the field of historical action by convincing business, government, university administrators and public opinion on the need for mass student-aid programs and low tuition fees. From the 1950s to the mid-1960s, NFCUS and CUS campaigned for government-funded mass student-aid; in fact, it was their number one "national affairs" concern. Governments responded to the NFCUS and CUS accessibility lobby with the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) in 1964, the Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP) in 1966 and "frozen" tuition fees by 1967. The achievement of the CSLP divided Quebec and English- Canadian students and began a process of removing traditional student movement catalysts. NFCUS's and CUS's lobby for non-repayable stu- dent bursaries was co-opted. However, the level of accessibility to post- secondary education was unprecedented and, in part, provided the social conditions for the emergence of new social movements.