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  • Ryan Ballout and Keah Sharma

How Much Should You Be Tipping Your TA?

According to an anonymous source, a new potential outbreak is sweeping across UofT. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not the seemingly inescapable fall cold out to infect us all, but rather a greater enemy: tipping. Tipping has evoked silent frustration amongst Torontonians for years, with some claiming the practice has gotten out of hand. This month, one daring TA took tipping to a new level as she waited by the tutorial door with the dreaded 15%, 18%, and 20% iPad screen glowing.

The Boundary sat down with this TA, Stefanie Guberman, to discuss what inspired this bold move. “I’m going to be real with you,” Guberman stated. “I’ve had to go on strike one too many times in my TA career, and honestly, I realized it’s time for me to take this into my own hands. My roommate works at a cafe downtown and tells me about the stare-downs he has with customers as he flips the payment screen their way. He doesn’t break eye contact until they’ve hit that 20% tip mark, and, honestly, it’s pretty metal.” Guberman was inspired to be the master of her own destiny by following her roommate's lead and implementing her own tipping system.

Some of Guberman’s students approached The Boundary with concern, citing nostalgia for hard work as currency: “I miss the days when my grade would only be changed if I spent six hours in office hours debating my TA to convince them I deserve a higher grade. That…that takes dedication,” one student said. Another student lamented, “I miss the under-the-table bribery. Now that it’s all in the open, I’m no longer able to get what I want by threatening a phone call from my daddy or e-transferring a couple hundy in secret.”

Boundary intel suggests that students should be tipping their TA in well-meaning “thank yous” and the amount of head nodding that could break your neck. After all, why join TAs on a picket line or support their ability to live comfortably when one can bombard them with time-consuming questions after class to show appreciation?



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