Propel Western entrepreneurship

Western students decided to put entrepreneurship on campus on the back burner, as 64.8 per cent voted "no" to the Propel referendum.

Sophie Helpard, president of University Students’ Council, said it was important to give students the power to make this decision and she is happy that students were able to voice their opinion.

Eaton Asher, fourth-year psychology and medical sciences student and a work-study student at Propel, said the result was a little disappointing but is glad about the increase in voter turnout this year.

In the referendum, Propel was asking for $4.89 in student ancillary fees.

Currently Propel relies heavily on government grants and according to Alex Benac, USC vice-president internal, the provincial government is scaling back their commitment to entrepreneurship on Western’s campus. 

Asher said Propel has made him realize that entrepreneurship is integral to today’s world and will be to his career as well.

“It’s equipped me with skills that are very very useful, ones that I wouldn’t expect to learn in a science degree and it has actually helped me figure out the next 10 years of my life,” said Asher.

According to Asher, had the referendum passed, it would’ve allowed the people working at propel to plan long term.

“This wasn’t going to replace government funding or the funding on behalf of Western,” he clarified.

Moving forward, Helpard said Propel will be looking at what services and programs it currently delivers to students and how they want to augment those and examine other sources of funding available.

Asher said Propel will be focusing on integrating other faculties into their program and market relevant services to Western students. Some of these services may include teaching students how to manage club fees and providing financial advice to student leaders.

“We want to make the services more known, make them more available to all students and change students’ perceptions of what entrepreneurship is so that they’re more comfortable coming to us,” he said.


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