A message from Shelley Melanson (Yes side)
Today, University of Regina students can vote in the referendum on continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students. I encourage you to vote "Yes" and remain united with students from across Canada and fight to make our lives as students better.
The U of R is a founding member of the CFS. The CFS represents more than one-half million students across Canada in all ten provinces, at both the university and college levels.
The CFS is as effective as we make it. When students are committed to a campaign, victories are possible.
This past year, students at the First Nations University brought the Save FNUniv campaign to a CFS meeting. Students across Canada voted to make this campaign a national priority and postcards calling on the federal and provincial governments to save FNUniv were collected and letters were written from campuses across Canada.
The campaign to save FNUniv is an example of how the CFS works: through the unity and networks of the organization, students come together to fight for social change.
As a member, you’re entitled to discounts at WestJet, ViaRAIL, Greyhound and tens thousands of attractions, restaurants and stores across Canada and around the world. You can file your taxes for free through Ufile.ca. URSU can purchase ethically made and fairly traded orientation materials at a very low cost.
There are some people at U of R that will tell you that they have received nothing for the $5.50 per semester they pay in membership fees. I challenge you to ask them what URSU has done to ensure that your money has been well spent or to make you aware of the benefits available to you.
CFS campaigns target racism, sexual assault and rape, and homophobia, and campaign materials are available to you for free from the CFS. Campaigns are also coordinated nationally to call for enhanced research funding, changes to the federal Copyright Act, more funding for grants instead of loans, more money for the Post-Secondary Student Support Program and for campus infrastructure improvements. If you’ve never received materials for these campaigns, talk to URSU; campaign materials have been sent to their office.
Perhaps you’ve never heard about these campaigns. Perhaps the real issue simply rests in how URSU promotes and reports on the work on the CFS. However, poor communication is not an argument for why U of R students should disaffiliate from our national students' union.
Students need to work together to have any hope of influencing post-secondary education policy. The CFS is the largest national student lobby organization in Canada and provides students with an effective voice.
University professors are united through a national organization. University presidents are united through a lobby group too, and theirs meets regularly with parliamentarians.
If students aren’t at the table, we have no chance of our voices being heard. If you think students need to unite to make our educational experiences better, you should vote yes.