Letters to the editor – Mar. 10, 2011
I’d like to make mention of how impressed I was with the campaigning that kick started last week for the URSU elections. The Voice of Students was the first and, as of when I’m writing this letter, the only slate with posters up and tables out. Their platform seems to be responsible and reasonable. Although I would love a tuition reduction, I just don’t think it is feasible right now. Thus, I believe a tuition freeze is the best way to go.
However, before I decide how to vote I’ll definitely take into account other slates’ policies. I read their profiles online, but thus far was uninspired. In fact, I can’t help but ask: what will Kyle Addison be cutting from the budget to afford his promise to “lower URSU student fees”?
You cannot lower fees without cutting something, and as far as I’m aware URSU’s budget doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. Even more concerning, he also promises to increase funding for student societies and clubs. It is clear that something major will have to be cut in order to afford both lowering revenues and increasing expenditures.
What will the For Students slate eliminate? Will the UR Pride Centre lose their funding? Will we be forced to pay more for food in the Owl? Or maybe Kyle Addison is prepared to take a pay cut?
Regardless, I await the answers to these questions. I’m excited to see changes being brought to URSU and their effects for U of R students.
On March 16 and 17, University of Regina students will go to the polls to elect an URSU executive and board. I’m writing this letter urging students to make the smart choice and deny Kyle Addison a third term in office. Addison and his past executives have had two years to make positive and lasting changes across campus, but have failed to do so. Why, as students, should we allow a third year of inaction to govern our campus?
URSU has wasted money on such projects as black paint for the Owl and a student’s union website. Further, URSU oversaw a referendum that caused a major split for many members of the student body, with no result released yet. URSU, under For Students, hasn’t facilitated any kind of action in lobbying the government for a tuition freeze. Instead, we saw the Saskatchewan Party increase tuition twice in two years, while two URSU executive members congratulated the party on their advertisements during the Grey Cup on Twitter.
Many URSU executives of the past made their presence known throughout campus by engaging URSU in areas of environmental sustainability, improving transit, and fighting for tuition freezes, while instilling a sense of pride to be a part of the University of Regina. Many campus groups have seemed to have picked up the slack in doing positive things for the university, Regina, and society. I’m sure that URSU execs will catch up eventually, once they’ve finished their discounted pints at the Owl.
I have had two unfortunate encounters with two URSU executives. One refused to pay one dollar for a cookie in a bake sale to benefit Carmichael Outreach during an education fundraiser; the other explicitly told me during [the CFS referendum] that he only represents the voices of his faculty. Now, this doesn’t mean that Addison shares these attitudes, but when you operate as a slate, you’re guilty by association.
Two terms under For Students governance has resulted in zero action for students. When the strongest legacy a group has left over two years is apathy and anger, I think it is time to step down and let someone else take over. This year, please vote to make a difference in your school. As Kanye West once rapped, “the clock’s ticking. I just count hours.”