Vote to Support the Centre for Gender Advocacy
On March 25, 26 and 27, the CSU election ballots will include a referendum question asking students if they agree to pay an increase of eight cents to support the work of the Centre for Gender Advocacy, a question to which I encourage all undergrads to vote YES.
For those unfamiliar with the work of the Centre, it is a hub for incredibly important activism on campus. The Centre’s mandate to promote gender equality and empowerment has been at the heart of its activities, such as providing free and confidential peer support and advocacy, and organizing campaigns like Justice for Missing and Murdered Native Women and the Reproductive Justice League.
All year, staff and volunteers program educational talks, panels, film screenings and workshops, all with the goal of ending gendered and racialized violence. For myself and other volunteers, it has also provided an invaluable experience that has opened us up to the opportunity of making real change on campus and in Montreal. Sustaining the growth and quality of these initiatives requires support for the eight cent fee levy increase.
The last time the CGA received a fee levy increase was in 2006. In the years since then, their services have greatly expanded, growing enough to warrant the opening of a second location, which has been a welcoming space for students, activists and Montrealers alike on Concordia’s campus.
The work of staff and volunteers has shown itself to be incredibly effective—since the beginning of this school year, we’ve reached two significant milestones. Following two years of campaigning, Concordia University opened a Sexual Assault Resource Centre in November, an essential service for all students and a crucial part of helping create a culture of consent on our campus.
Later that same month, the CGA proved itself a driving force behind Quebec’s decision to modify the civil code in order to grant the right for trans people to legally change their gender without having to undergo surgery.
There is no doubt that Concordians support the Centre for Gender Advocacy’s mandate. I encourage all students to help the CGA continue their essential work by voting YES to the eight cent fee levy increase from March 25 to 27. For more information on the services provided by the CGA, visit genderadvocacy.org, call 514-937-2110 or drop by either of the two locations (1500 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., #404, or 2110 Mackay St.).
—Julia Nadeau, volunteer