All Students Benefit from Fee-Levy Groups

After I read last week’s issue of The Link about the upcoming vote on having per-faculty fee-levy referendums (Vol. 34, Issue 23: “Stronger Together” and “No Remuneration Without Representation”), it only confirms my thoughts that this isn’t about the money.

The articles were written by a JMSB and an arts and science student, showing that these fee-levy groups are available for everyone, no matter one’s degree or faculty. Rather than working with only part of the student body, these groups actually work with students from all faculties—for example, JMSB students have been board members or staffers for a number of fee-levy groups.

Supporting fee-levy groups is agreeing with the idea that we, students of Concordia University, are part of a community. Even though not everyone watches CUTV or a Cinema Politica film on Mondays, listens to CJLO, volunteers abroad with CVAP, or uses the Centre for Gender Advocacy, that doesn’t mean these resources are not important!

By supporting these 17 different fee-levy groups and donating funds for the various services they provide, we not only improve the lives of students but also the lives of other members of the larger community.

Fee-levy groups are vectors in which students can get involved, learn valuable lessons and have great experiences. They provide various services including volunteering, internships and part or full-time opportunities.

The participation and involvement in these fee-levy groups lets people acquire hands-on experience within a not-for-profit framework. This is especially true for me, being an international student at Concordia in the geography, planning and environment department for the past three years who is now working as the QPIRG-Concordia Community-University Research Exchange coordinator for the winter 2014 term.

I’ve had many opportunities to volunteer with several on-campus organizations, whether it’s helping do bake sales for Sustainable Concordia or getting signatures for the Concordia Food Coalition’s fee-levy question, and now have the chance to actually be paid by Concordia University under the work-study grant.

In summary, the fee-levy groups bring Concordia and its surrounding communities so much good. Students should get informed before signing or voting for things, and make sure they realize the consequences these decisions engender—remember, vote no at the upcoming per-faculty fee-levy referendum March 25-March 27!

William Butcher, CURE Coordinator as of winter 2014