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Tue February 13

CSU applauds on-campus housing in throne speech

2018-02-15T10:58:19+00:00

NORTH VANCOUVER – February 13, 2018 – The Capilano Students’ Union would like to thank the provincial government for including on-campus student housing in today’s throne speech. Post-secondary institutions have been unable to build on-campus housing for the past 10 years, forcing students to compete for limited rental housing available in Metro Vancouver.

“Everyone has been impacted by the housing crisis, including post-secondary students,” said Noah Berson, the CSU’s vice-president external. “Moving students on campus and out of market rental will benefit everyone and help make universities a better place.”

There are a range of benefits to on-campus student housing, including reducing traffic congestion in the region by decreasing the number of students that have to drive or transit over the Second Narrows Bridge to get to Capilano or drive through the heavily congested North Shore. Student housing will reduce the number of students competing for the rental market, where they are often competing for the low end of the market. Student housing will also ensure that there are more suites available for rent by those who need them most. Universities and colleges will become more vibrant education hubs with a major expansion in student life.

The CSU supports initiatives that improve access to education, and affordable on-campus housing is a key component in accessibility. “Students that are able to live on campus will save both money on housing and time spent commuting, allowing them to focus on their studies. This is a big win for accessibility,” concluded Berson.


Spokesperson:

Noah Berson, vice-president external
Capilano Students’ Union
e vpexternal@csu.bc.ca
p 604.831.1159

CSU applauds on-campus housing in throne speech 2018-02-15T10:58:19+00:00
Wed February 7

Capilano Students’ Union recognized as a living wage employer

2018-02-07T11:45:43+00:00

NORTH VANCOUVER – February 7, 2018 – The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has been recognized by the Living Wage for Families Campaign as a living wage employer. This means that the CSU has committed to ensuring that its direct and contracted workers receive a combined wages and benefits package that totals at least the living wage for our region; for Metro Vancouver, this is calculated to be about $20.62 per hour.

The CSU’s board of directors recently approved a living wage policy, making it organizational policy to pay all direct and contract workers a living wage for their work, and determining that the CSU should be a public advocate for ensuring that all workers receiving a living wage.

“The CSU’s continued advancements in providing services, events, and advocacy for our members would not be possible without the work of our professional and dedicated team of staff,” says Christopher Girodat, executive director of the student union. “Our staff team, student and non-student team members alike, works hard everyday to support students; I appreciate this formal recognition that we are committed to supporting them in return.”

According to Perry Safari, president of the student union, paying a living wage is also about leading by example for other employers. “We know first-hand the barriers that our members face when navigating through post-secondary education,” says Safari. “When employers pay a living wage, including to student and part-time workers, it helps to reduce student debt, and reduces barriers to accessing post-secondary education.”Click edit button to change this text.

Spokesperson:
Perry Safari, president
Capilano Students’ Union
e president@csu.bc.ca t (604) 910-5963

Background:
Christopher Girodat, executive director
Capilano Students’ Union
e cgirodat@csu.bc.ca t (604) 990-7965

Capilano Students’ Union recognized as a living wage employer 2018-02-07T11:45:43+00:00
Wed October 11

Capilano Students’ Union commits to living wage

2017-10-11T12:28:10+00:00

NORTH VANCOUVEROctober 10, 2017 – The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has adopted a policy committing to maintaining a living wage for all of its current and future employees as well as contract workers. The living wage in Metro Vancouver, determined annually by the Living Wage for Families Campaign, is $20.62 per hour (adjusted for non-mandatory benefits provided by the CSU to its staff).

“The CSU is proud to be on the leading edge of progressive employment practices, and declaring our commitment to a living wage is a big part of that,” says Perry Safari, CSU president. “Anyone who decides to spend their time advancing an organization’s goals deserves to be paid enough to make ends meet.”

The CSU board of directors, consisting of students elected by and from the CSU’s membership (i.e., all Capilano University students), approved the living wage policy statement at today’s meeting. The policy commits the CSU to paying its own employees a living wage combination of pay and benefits; maintaining the same standard for contracted workers; and to being a public living wage advocate.

A public discussion about the living wage standard has been brought to our campus in recent weeks by the Service Employees International Union – Local 2 (SEIU 2), organizing the contract cleaning staff (employed by Best Service Pros to provide cleaning services at Capilano University).

Many post-secondary institutions throughout the province have contracted out key operations, such as food, cleaning, and security services, based on a number of factors – including provincial funding. Nonetheless, we believe that post-secondary institutions should be social leaders and work toward ensuring that workers on campus (whether employed directly or contracted-out) are paid a living wage, and that living wage and benefits policies should guide these institutions’ decisions for both their tender and non-tender contracts.

“We support paying a living wage to all workers — and that includes contract cleaners hired by Best Service Pros to work right here at Capilano University,” says Noah Berson, CSU vice-president external. “Post-secondary staff, including contract workers, keep our post-secondary institutions running and, for maintaining the environment that builds new leaders, they deserve a living wage. The province needs to address post-secondary funding so that future bids for contract services provide for a living wage; contracting out these services doesn’t need to be a race to the bottom.”

For more information:

Perry Safari, president (spokesperson)
Capilano Students’ Union
Email: president@csu.bc.ca
Cell: (604) 910-5963

Christopher Girodat, executive director
Capilano Students’ Union
Email: cgirodat@csu.bc.ca
Office: (604) 990-7965

Capilano Students’ Union commits to living wage 2017-10-11T12:28:10+00:00
Mon September 11

MEDIA ADVISORY: Provincial budget provides relief for adult basic education and English language training

2017-09-11T15:53:37+00:00

VICTORIA (September 11, 2017) — Today, the Province of British Columbia announced the details of their budget update, which included the elimination of tuition fees for adult basic education and English language training. These programs are vital tools to help lift people out of poverty and serve as a good step forward for improving access to education in British Columbia.

“This is exactly the kind of programming the government should be expanding access to,” said Noah Berson, vice-president external at the Capilano Students’ Union. “The decision by the previous government to charge for these programs was indefensible and we are glad to see this mistake corrected.”

Adult basic education and English language training are key tools for recent immigrants and those who, for whatever reason, were unable to graduate high school to be able to put themselves on a path to success.

“Many of those enrolled in these programs are working service sector jobs for minimum wage and can’t afford the cost and risk that comes with attempting to complete their high school education,” said Caitlin McCutchen, chair of the Alliance of BC Students, a student lobbying organization of which the CSU is a member. “We are happy to see that the this government has listened and we look forward to continuing what has been a very rewarding relationship.”

Other budget changes of interest to students include an increase in capital spending for post-secondary institutions to expand academic buildings, an increase to the carbon tax to help combat climate change, increased funding for 1,700 new affordable rental units, and expanded enforcement of residential tenancy rights.

Spokesperson:
Noah Berson, vice-president external
Capilano Students’ Union
c 604.831.1159
e vpexternal@csu.bc.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY: Provincial budget provides relief for adult basic education and English language training 2017-09-11T15:53:37+00:00
Tue January 31

CSU encourages compassion and understanding in wake of attack

2017-01-31T16:51:19+00:00

Earlier this week, members of the Capilano Students’ Union were shocked to learn of the fatal shootings that took place at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec. News of the tragic event was met with sadness, disbelief, and anger.

The Capilano Students’ Union celebrates multiculturalism. Our members join us from around the globe and their diversity strengthens us and encourages open mindedness and compassion as we grow and develop as citizens of the world.

We refuse to accept ideologies based on hatred and condemn this senseless act of violence. We call upon all Canadians to reject hate speech and to treat each other with compassion and understanding.

To all those affected by this tragic event, we send our sympathy, condolences, and love – we are with you.

CSU encourages compassion and understanding in wake of attack 2017-01-31T16:51:19+00:00
Tue September 27

BOARD SHORTS: September 2, 2016

2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00

Here are the highlights from the September 2 board meeting: the board decided that the vice-president of student life (as well as an undecided employee alternate) would represent the Capilano Students’ Union on the committee for Capilano University’s 50th-anniversary events throughout the 2017-18.

Nominations were opened up for student vacancies for various university committees. The committee vacancies were reviewed and nominations were put forward for the academic planning and program review committee, the bylaw, policy and procedure committee, the physical environment committee, the food and beverage committee, and the anti-harassment committee. Vacancies still remain for the instructional technologies advisory committee, the art exhibition committee, and the transportation committee.  

The board decided to release $4,000 from the budget to launch the new volunteer registry, and discussed the possibility of the volunteer registry having their own booth at the Capilano University Street Party. The board approved the plans for the Ride the Bull Social event for Welcome Week and released $920 from the budget to fund it. It was also decided that a street team program be implemented as part of the volunteer registry and that $600 be released from the budget to support it.

Plans were approved to go forward with the MP Environmental Forum, a panel discussing environmental issues to be held in the Bosa theatre with North Vancouver member of parliament Jonathan Wilkinson. They agreed to release $500 from the budget for funding purposes.

To read the full set of September 2 board minutes, please visit the CSU website. The next board meeting is scheduled for September 23 at 3:30pm in Maple 116. 

BOARD SHORTS: September 2, 2016 2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00
Wed September 7

Student housing a solution to the housing crisis

2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00

wheres-the-housing_NORTH VANCOUVER – The Alliance of British Columbia Students (ABCS) released research today outlining the way that a minor change in government policy would unlock nearly two billion dollars in new housing in British Columbia. The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) contributed to the research effort, and the data indicates that for only $18 million dollars per year over a ten-year period, the government could enable the construction of over 20,000 units of rental housing in the form of student residences.

“We think it’s a huge untapped possibility, and would go a long way to fixing the housing market in Metro Vancouver,” said Sacha Fabry, vice-president of external relations for the CSU. “All that’s holding this back is a thin line of red tape, stopping universities from building the housing our cities badly need.”

The effect on Capilano University would be profound. The housing market is so constricted on the NorthShore that students are beginning to live farther and farther from campus. This reduces their quality of life and further chokes the congestion on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. Pulling students out of nearby rental markets, or those as far away as Burnaby, Coquitlam, or Surrey, opens up  rental opportunities for others, helping the entire region.

Because of government regulation, there have been almost no new residence spaces added to BC universities, other than at UBC, over the past ten years. In that same time, student population has increased significantly, including international students.

“We keep hearing stories from our students, living out of their cars, or spending 50, 60 or even 70% of their income on rent,” said Jullian Kolstee, CSU president. “Students just can’t afford to live in this region, and the province has all of the power to change that.”

The ABCS has launched a campaign called “Where’s the Housing?” that can be found at wheresthehousing.ca, calling on the government to strip the red tape that prevents students from getting out of the rental market and onto campus. There are a number of events planned through September to continue to highlight this campaign and the dire need for more housing in Metro Vancouver.

20160906-csu-wth-campaign1

CSU volunteers collect signatures for the “Where’s the Housing?” campaign

20160906-csu-wth-campaign2

The “Where’s the Housing?” campaign tent at the Capilano University Street Party on September 6, 2016

 

Student housing a solution to the housing crisis 2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00
Tue September 6

Welcome to the 2016/17 academic year

2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00
jullian.kolstee31

Jullian Kolstee, CSU president

Dear Capilano Students’ Union members,

That’s you. Taking even a single credit at Capilano this term—or last—makes you a member of the Capilano Students’ Union. Our student union represents you, advocates for you, provides you with services, and more. We are independent of the university, with autonomy over how our organization can best serve our members.

The CSU is yours. Whether by simply exercising your right to vote in our elections and general meetings; by attending a collective, committee, or board meeting; or running for a position on our board of directors, you have the power to influence and guide our student union.

But what does the student union actually do for you? Let’s start with what you’ll see, and count this handbook for one. Odds are you’ve picked up this handbook in one of our student spaces, such as our CSU Members Centre or Treehouse located in the Library building, or our Maple lounge in the Maple building. These are some of the best spaces at Capilano, and they have been leased, renovated, and operated by our student union for our members.

You might have travelled to Capilano by transit today, and taken advantage of the U-Pass program for which our student union negotiated. You could be wearing glasses you claimed through your vision benefits in our student health and dental benefits plan.

Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of our used textbook sale to keep a few more dollars in your pocket or used the discounts and giveaways we provide to save even more.

With the cash you’ve saved you could buy a ticket to one of our off-campus student life events where you can connect with your friends from Cap outside of the classroom: on the dance floor or the deck of a party boat. On-campus you’ll make friends getting involved in a CSU club or collective, or at one of our events like Welcome Back or Rail Jam.

Behind the scenes, our staff and board of directors will be working in committees and our administration office to make all this happen. We’ll strive to provide the CSU with good governance including making our work transparent to our members, and consulting you and other Capilano stakeholders in our decision-making.

We’ll continue to advocate for you with the Capilano University administration, board of governors, and senate; as well as externally with partners in post-secondary education including the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Students’ concerns at Capilano are the CSU’s priorities; that’s why we continue to campaign on student housing and sexual assault, and will work to provide our members with information on the upcoming provincial election so that we are empowered to vote and put student issues on the political agenda.

We’re here to serve you, so the question is: how will you use the Capilano Students’ Union? I encourage you to take advantage of all we have to offer to make the most of your student experience at Capilano. Make the CSU what you want it to be, and leave Capilano a better place than you found it.

Jullian Kolstee
President and Vice-President of University Relations & Services

Welcome to the 2016/17 academic year 2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00
Thu August 25

BOARD SHORTS: August 19, 2016

2017-02-01T11:53:14+00:00

Here are the highlights from the August 19 board of directors meeting: the CSU board of directors decided to pursue a membership with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). As a result, the external relations committee will draft a referendum question on fees associated with CASA membership to present to the student body. The dates for the fall semester’s board of directors meetings were officially set, and the procedures manual was altered to provide a more specific list of reasons why a board member may be absent from a meeting.

The vice-presidents of the organization are required to present reports to the board every semester, explaining what they have accomplished this semester so far as well as what their goals are for the coming semester. The board approved all of their goals for the coming months, but asked three of the vice-presidents to present again at the next board meeting with more detail on what they had accomplished over the summer.

The board decided to release $1,825 in funds to support the housing campaign as well as $2,050 to fund Disorientation, a welcome back event that will be held at Library Square on September 16. The board decided that tickets sales for Disorientation will be conducted both online and in person.

To read the full set of August 19 board minutes, please visit our website. The next board meeting is scheduled for September 2 at 2:30pm in Birch 126.

BOARD SHORTS: August 19, 2016 2017-02-01T11:53:14+00:00
Mon August 8

BOARD SHORTS: August 5, 2016

2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00

Here are the highlights from the August 5 board of directors meeting: the board approved the plans for the government relations luncheon where MLA representatives in North Vancouver and MP Jonathan Wilkinson will meet with directors of the CSU to discuss the topic of student well-being and encourage a relationship between these governing bodies and Capilano University. The date is to be determined, but is planned to happen in the beginning of the fall semester.

The board approved the fees totalling $1436.70 for membership to the Alliance of BC Students for the 2016/2017 year. The board discussed a meeting with TransLink to negotiate an extension of the U-Pass contract, hoping to agree to a term up to 10 years, potentially.

It was decided that the board would appoint students to fill the vacant board positions. There are several positions to be filled, including a students of colour liaison and environmental justice coordinator, Sunshine Coast campus representative, and representatives for the faculties of business and professional studies; education, health, and human development; and fine and applied arts.

The board decided that, moving forward, every meeting will begin with a traditional land acknowledgment for the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations. In addition, in keeping with past practices, it was made official that every attendee will have the option to state their preferred gender pronouns and any accessibility needs they may be experiencing. Accessibility needs include, but are not limited to, physical, mental, and emotional hindrances or impairments — be the long-term, short-term, or temporary. Stating accessibility needs are meant to foster a comfortable and accommodating environment that allows all attendees to participate to their fullest capacity.

It was decided that members of the executive committee may be excused from attending their regularly scheduled office hours during which time they are attending conferences authorized by the board. The budget was amended to increase funding for professional association membership and management expenses.

The board approved the plans for the afterparty held at Narrows Pub during the fall semester’s Welcome Week. Plans were also approved for Spidey the Illusionist to deliver a performance  Welcome Week.

To read the full set of August 8 board minutes, please visit our website. The next board meeting is scheduled for August 19 at 4:00pm in Birch 126.

BOARD SHORTS: August 5, 2016 2016-12-05T12:12:18+00:00