CSU, CFS & CNC
By Tyson Kelsall, Culture Editor
Another university student body is looking to leave the Canadian Federation of Students, the large student union that has been losing attractiveness amongst members over the past few years. Now, the Capilano Student Union is scheduled to have a referendum to leave the CFS. This has drawn the attention of the College of New Caledonia’s student leadership. CNC is currently a member of CFS. According to UNBC student and former President of the Capilano Student Union, David Clarkson, CNC is planning to send representatives down to Capilano to stand in favour of CFS and influence the referendum results. Clarkson says that this is not uncommon, but it might bother students whose fees are going into it. The referendum will happen from 24-28 March.
The CNC student’s union recently sent a rebuttal disputing the above quote. The CNC student union did not send a representative to Capilano University.
Approval for CFS originally began to fall because some student bodies felt the results produced were not worth the high fees. The Eye Opener, Ryerson’s independent newspaper, reported that Ryerson pays $350,000 per year. The problems were amplified when student unions found out how hard it is to leave. At one point, CFS took the University of Victoria Student Society to the Supreme Court of BC in an attempt to delay UVSS’ referendum. Later, the Simon Fraser Student Society and CFS settled out of court in a related situation. Clarkson calls CFS “something like a nasty parasite, they’re hard to get rid of.” This has led BC’s four biggest institutions to join a new project.
In BC, a new student coalition is building, named the Alliance of British Columbia students, or ABCS. According to ABCS’ website, it currently represents over 140,000 students in BC. ABCS was founded in May 2011, shortly after the UVSS left CFS. It is built off previous individual campaigns, such as Where’s the Funding (WTF?). CSU is already part of ABCS…and if it follows in the steps of its partners, it will not be part of CFS for long.