All Posts Tagged With: "OPIRG"
If we wanted these groups, we’d fund them voluntarily.
Liam Ledgerwood’s piece for The Arthur at Trent University generated more than a couple letters to the editor. After reading his argument below, check out one of those responses, written by two student politicians who support the fees. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section, on Twitter @maconcampus or on Facebook.
When I was an eager and green first year at Trent University, I remember my father telling me a story about one of his university friends back in the 80s. Like Trent, York University offered any student group “free” money to help finance its activities. Well, my father’s friend started a group, received a few hundred dollars, went and bought “prizes” (read: stuff he wanted) and held a “fundraiser” auction that went unadvertised. When no one showed up, guess who kept the prizes?
I laughed at the time, but I recently read the list of levies that each student at Trent pays to support various organizations, clubs, charities and special interest groups on campus. Every single one of us pays more than $180 per year to support more than 30 groups that most of us have a) no participation in b) receive no benefit from or c) have never even heard of.
Each year, $18.79 is charged to us to pay for Trent Radio (does anyone know the frequency?), $18.87 for Trent Annual (despite my never even seeing a Trent Yearbook through three years here), $12.50 for the politically ideological Ontario Public Interest Research Group, and the list goes on. Sure, some of these levies are “refundable,” but the total of all available refunds is only $51, and we have to go to groups individually to get our own money back. There’s no “opt out” button.
Five-day protest over student fees for radio station, QPIRG
A five-day occupation of the James Administration Building at McGill ended Sunday when city police gave the remaining nine protesters five minutes to collect their belongings before they were read an eviction notice and then booted from campus.
Then, the university released a new protocol for “demonstrations, protests and occupations.”
In a release, Provost Anthony Masi noted that McGill is already “embarking on a comprehensive consultation process and dialogue into the ways in which freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly can be protected as appropriate means of protest and dissent.”
Campus conservatives celebrate
The Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) will no longer get $4.36 from each Queen’s student after 62 per cent of voters in last week’s referendum supported eliminating the fee.
OPIRG and its individual branches have been controversial on Canadian campuses for promoting what critics say are left-wing political causes that don’t reflect the wider community’s beliefs.
The Public Interest Research Groups at more than one Canadian university have been criticized for supporting Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual event that encourages sanctions against Israel.
Stuart Clark, who organized the anti-OPIRG campaign, made a similar argument that student’s fees shouldn’t go to political causes. After winning, he posted this on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Campus Association’s Facebook wall: “We took down OPIRG. I think celebrations are in order!”