(more info below, including voting information; please read and share; get in touch with any questions)
We’re taking the time to contact our membership, made up overwhelmingly of Concordia students, to urge you to pay attention to the upcoming CSU election, in which you are entitled to vote, and especially to encourage you to VOTE NO to per-faculty fee levy referendums. There is more detailed info below.
QPIRG has existed as a social justice organization on the Concordia campus for three decades. We work to connect community, research and grassroots resistance, and our mandate is to be a campus-community link for social change. We root our work in anti-oppression politics and non-hierarchical organizing. We make tangible links between campus and community through core projects like the Study In Action Undergraduate Research Conference (which took place this past March 20-23) or supporting initiatives like the recent March Against Colonialism, Racism and the Quebec Charter of Values, co-sponsored with the CSU and GSA.
i) VOTE NO TO PER-FACULTY FEE LEVY REFERENDUMS
As QPIRG, along with other fee levy groups, we are most concerned by a referendum question that aims to implement per-faculty fee levy referendums. The question is worded as follows:
“Per Faculty Referendums Petition – There are independent groups that receive funding from Concordia students called Fee Levy Groups to provide resources and services to students and the Concordia community. Should the results of referenda concerning fee levies be tallied on a per-faculty basis, the results of which would apply only to that faculty? For the purpose of these referenda, Independent students will be considered as a faculty.”
We strongly encourage our undergraduate student membership to VOTE NO to the above question.
A per-faculty fee levy referendum process (which falsely divides up membership) will be detrimental and devastating to QPIRG and all fee levy groups. It will destroy the sense of community that has developed at Concordia, and will fundamentally change the nature of our organizations by preventing us from being able to build sustainable medium and long-term projects, campaigns and services.
A group of undergraduate students, representing all faculties, has formed a “Vote No” committee and you can visit their website for more information: www.ConcordiaCommunity.org
The following article, written by the chair of the “Vote No” committee, provides important information: Don’t Burn the Bridge: Fee-Levy Groups Provide Benefits Outside the Classroom: http://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/5709
The following article, written jointly by an Arts & Science and Business student, explains the issues concerning this referendum well: Stronger Together: An Argument Against Per-Faculty Opt-Outs: http://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/5594
ii) SUPPORT THE CENTER FOR GENDER ADVOCACY AND CUTV
In addition to encouraging your “NO” vote to the per-faculty fee levy referendum question, we are also endorsing a “YES” vote to the two following questions affecting other fee levy groups:
“Center for Gender Advocacy – Do you agree to increase the fee levy for the Centre for Gender Advocacy (formerly known as the 2110 Centre) by $0.08 per credit for all Concordia undergraduate students, thereby raising the current levy from $0.29 to $0.37? This increase will be used to support the Centre’s free and confidential peer support service, and ongoing work on sexual assault prevention, gender equality and solidarity with missing and murdered Indigenous women. The fee increase would take effect in the summer semester of 2014.”
“CUTV Fee Levy Transfer – A new non-profit organization has been incorporated, called “Community University Television Concordia” (CUTV), that has temporarily been delegated control and management of a student fee levy of $0.34 per credit by the “Concordia Student Broadcasting Corporation” (CSBC). Do you agree to officially and permanently transfer the management and control of this fee levy from the CSBC to the newly incorporated CUTV?”
The Center for Gender Advocacy is an allied group of QPIRG Concordia, and we share many goals and mandates in common, including making campus-community links, privileging grassroots, anti-oppression organizing, and rooting our activism in an anti-colonial, Indigenous sovereignty framework. Their proposed increased fee levy is very much deserved and we urge QPIRG Concordia supporters to support them.
iii) CSU COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE ELECTIONS
QPIRG Concordia does not endorse CSU council or executive candidates. Fee levy groups are autonomous from the CSU except for referendums. However, due to the per-faculty fee levy referendums question, we urge everyone voting to get more informed about where councilors and executives exactly stand on this question. We urge you to get clear information from all candidates and to vote accordingly. Councillors and executive candidates indicating clearly and publicly that they will vote “no” to per-faculty fee levy referendums are helping to support the continued sustainability and vibrancy of groups like QPIRG, the Center for Gender Advocacy, People’s Potato, Sustainable Concordia, and more.
iv) GETTING READY TO VOTE (MARCH 25-27): Mark your agendas!
The voting period for CSU elections is Tuesday, March 25, Wednesday, March 26 and Thursday, March 27 (THIS WEEK!). Polls are open between 10am to 8pm. If you’re a Concordia undergraduate student (ie. registered for at least one class for the winter semester) you can vote!