Re: “Don’t force support” (Nov. 30, 2010)
To the Editor:
The editorial argued that the University Students’ Council allowing a single, on campus, not-for-profit group to ask for a student fee is not in the best interests of students. I respectfully disagree.
On campuses throughout Canada and the United States, charitable groups, clubs, and other campus groups have the opportunity to ask students to support their mandate during referendums. While the USC is here to “enhance the educational experience of Western students,” the council decided that it is not their role to unilaterally deny a club the opportunity to seek student fee funding.
World University Service of Canada groups at most other major universities receive funding from a student fee. WUSC is the type of organization that would benefit immensely from a student fee. This club is making a commitment to bring, to Canada, a refugee student for three years of schooling. Bake sales and charity car washes may not be enough to sustain that student’s living expenses for three years. What happens if WUSC cannot raise enough funds through fundraising? Do we send this student home? These are the arguments in favour of a student fee.
I do not wish to argue the merit of the fee itself. I am simply saying that whether the USC levies a fee or the University levies a fee, students must still pay. The USC is taking the most democratic approach to levying a student fee by asking you first. If you want to support a non-USC student group with a fee then, during elections, vote yes. If you do not support the fee then vote no.
A referendum is the best mechanism we have for determining what students want. Vote on February 15-16 and make your own choice.
USC VP Finance