Tue February 18

CSU welcomes needs-based grants announcement


VICTORIA, BC — Capilano students are celebrating today’s announcement of the new BC Access Grant — an up-front, needs-based grants program to support low- to middle-income post-secondary learners. This new grant program removes some of the financial barriers to education, providing students who need it most with financial assistance to access the education needed to start a new career and support a family. 

“It’s rewarding to see that students can have a direct impact on government decisions addressing affordable access to education” said Joey Sidhu, vice-president finance & services at the Capilano Students’ Union. “Capilano students have been advocating for needs-based grants in partnership with our lobbying partners the Alliance of BC Students, for seven years, so as we celebrate today we recognize all the work done by past student leaders that made today’s announcement possible.”

This $24 million investment over three years builds on last year’s elimination of student loan interest to make life more affordable for students in BC. Beginning this upcoming fall semester, students can expect to receive up to $4,000 per year, including those in programs under two years. 

“We’re excited about the introduction of non-repayable, needs-based grants because we know that these can help to reduce so many of the financial barriers that a lot of students experience when trying to start their education” explains Emily Bridge,  Capilano Students’ Union president. 

The province’s old needs-based grants program was cut in 2004, leaving BC as the only province in Canada to not offer a non-repayable grant program. This announcement today not only brings the province in line with the rest of the country, but also ensures students have the financial opportunities available to access the education needed for their career, and reduces the debt for new-graduates navigating BC’s affordability crisis.

CSU welcomes needs-based grants announcement2020-02-18T16:15:40-08:00
Wed February 12

RELEASE: Capilano Students’ Union stands with Wet’suwet’en


NORTH VANCOUVER  — The Capilano Students’ Union, representing the students at Capilano University through their elected board of directors, stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people, land defenders, and water protectors at the Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en camps, and fully supports Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction and governance.

The organization’s solidarity with Wet’suwet’en is demonstrated with the personal involvement of Capilano Students’ Union board members and staff in solidarity actions across Metro Vancouver, including blockading access to ports, trains, and roads; this has resulted in the arrest of at least one student leader for defending Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction, and they have since been released. 

We do not support the continued colonial violence against the sovereign Wet’suwet’en people by the RCMP, and supported by the federal and BC governments and Coastal GasLink. We believe that these actions are contrary to these governments’ commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). These actions demonstrate that the principle of free, prior, and informed consent, a protocol written into UNDRIP, has not been honoured.

The Wet’suwet’en people have never ceded the rights to their traditional territory and their title has never been extinguished. The Unist’ot’en house group of the Wet’suwet’en has been reoccupying their traditional territory for the last decade, building infrastructure and rebuilding traditional systems of governance as a way to heal their people and the land. The enforcement by the RCMP of this injunction threatens the well-being of the Wet’suwet’en people and their ability to heal and peacefully occupy their territory, infringing on their human and Aboriginal rights.

We also support the demands of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs including:

  • that free, prior and informed consent must be obtained before any industry may pass through their territory;
  • that the RCMP remove themselves from Wet’suwet’en territory and cease restricting the ability of the Wet’suwet’en people to access their own land, territory and the resources they need for survival, infringing upon their human and Aboriginal rights; 
  • that nation-to-nation talks be held between provincial and federal leaders to address the infringements on Wet’suwet’en rights and title; and
  • that the RCMP stop enforcing the injunction and in turn threatening the safety of the Wet’suwet’en people as well as their right to occupy their own territory, right to use their own traditional ways of knowing, and right to  heal their land and their people.

We urge the RCMP to stand down, release the land and water defenders, and encourage the Government of British Columbia to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in good faith, honouring their commitments to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls-to-action, and the Supreme Court of Canada’s Tsilhqot’in decision.

CSU spokesperson

Emily Bridge, president
Capilano Students’ Union

About Capilano Students’ Union
The Capilano Students’ Union advocates for the interests and needs of its membership of more than 7,000 students by lobbying Capilano University and all levels of government. The CSU delivers student services, provides resources to clubs and organisations on campus, and hosts a variety of events each year to promote the social, political, recreational, and academic wellbeing of its membership.

RELEASE: Capilano Students’ Union stands with Wet’suwet’en2020-02-12T16:14:11-08:00
Thu January 30

U-Pass renewed five more years

In 2019, Capilano students voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the U-Pass BC program. The U-Pass not only saves students money, but also helps to ease congestion and reduce greenhouse gases by removing cars from our roads. The CSU worked with student associations across the region to ensure the continuation of this essential program.
Today we celebrated the culmination of all this hard work with students across the province, as the provincial government and TransLink announced the renewal of U-Pass for another five years. We’re happy to see that our students can be assured of another five years of affordable transit.
Release from Province of British Columbia: U-Pass BC extended following post-secondary voting
U-Pass renewed five more years2020-01-30T11:39:31-08:00
Tue March 19

CSU condemns homophobia following art project vandalism


On Thursday, March 14, two students vandalized an art mural project that was part of the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) Pride Month programming taking place outside the CSU Members Centre. The students returned shortly thereafter to make homophobic remarks toward several members of the CSU’s queer students collective and board of directors.

While we are working closely with the university to attempt to identify these students and to ensure that they are held accountable, this incident demonstrates that there is more work to be done in advocacy for the safety of LGBTQ2S+ students and community members at Capilano University. The CSU is committed to championing this work through campaigns and advocacy, as well as events celebrating the queer community including Pride Month, the Social Advocacy Faire, and more.

The CSU unequivocally condemns homophobia in all of its forms and encourages anyone who might have experienced harassment to report it to campus security.

Don’t let hate win — join us in celebrating queer history and culture as Pride Month continues through March. A full list of activities can be found at csu.bc.ca/pride.

CSU condemns homophobia following art project vandalism2019-03-19T12:48:59-07:00
Tue February 5

Quit smoking at Cap


Smoking Cessation – Butt Out in 2019

As Capilano University continues its dedication to wellbeing, we wanted to specifically assist members of the Capilano community in taking the steps to quit smoking. The health benefits of quitting smoking start moment you quit — you’ll notice the immediate health changes (both physiological and psychological) that being smoke-free can have on you and those around you. Quitting isn’t easy but you are not alone. 

Below you will find resources that are available to you as members of the Capilano community or as a resident of British Columbia to aid you to quit smoking.

BC Smoking Cessation Program

The Government of British Columbia has created this program to cover costs of products that make it easier to quit smoking. Such products covered are nicotine replacement therapy products and smoking cessation prescriptions drugs. For additional information on how to get started please click here. You can also view frequently asked questions by clicking here.


QuitNow is a free customized program offered by the Government of BC delivered by the BC Lung Association. This program provides free one-on-one advice and guidance to help you to quit smoking and stay smoke-free. When you join QuitNow you will have access to a Quit Coach, online resources, an online community to help you stay on track.  

To learn more about this program please click here.

CSU Health & Dental Plan

Students enrolled in the CSU health & dental plan may access the psychology and naturopathic coverage for support, or claim medication that is on the BC Pharmacare Formulary. Full details can be found here.

Quit smoking at Cap2019-02-05T12:45:34-08:00
Wed January 30

An argument against “mental health days”


And yes, this is a click-baity post title

By Christopher Girodat, executive director

It’s #BellLetsTalk day, and everyone on the North Vancouver campus of Capilano University (a place I feel very privileged to work at) is talking about mental health. We’re talking about mental health broadly, in terms of this national day of dialogue, but also about the mental health of post-secondary students in particular – partnering with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations on the Students Let’s Act campaign.

I want to share some thoughts about “mental health days.” As executive director at the Capilano Students’ Union, I lead a team of 15 or so incredible people. I’ve been managing people for more than 10 years now in a couple of capacities, and there’s something about how people (workers included) approach “mental health days” that I think needs to be called out for discussion. (These are my personal thoughts, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Capilano Students’ Union, just to be clear.)

When someone calls in sick because of their physical health, things always seem super straightforward. They call or email, say something like “I’ve got a cold, sorry, not going to make it in,” and then everyone accepts the explanation and moves on with the day. If someone has a cold, a migraine, hurt an ankle, or whatever other physical maladies might have befallen them, it always seems super straightforward. Workers (at least when there’s job security and paid sick leave) seem comfortable enough doing it.

When it comes to mental health, though, it seems to be a different story.

When someone needs to take a day away from work because of their mental health, it’s rare that the explanation is so straightforward. Because of the stigma around mental health, I’ve found that the explanation is usually super elaborate, and includes way more personal information than an employee would share about a physical ailment. Let’s be clear, this practice is a real-life demonstration of stigma surrounding mental health.

Some workplaces use the term “mental health days” to address this sort of thing. There’s “sick days,” and then “mental health days.” Why is that? Why are we pretending that a tough mental health day should be treated any differently, from a workplace perspective, than we would treat tough physical health days? When’s the last time someone said “I think I’m going to need to stay home, I need a physical health day”? Answer: They wouldn’t say that, they would just – validly – say “Sorry, I’m sick today.”

Mental health is important. Folks who decide they need to stay home because their mental health won’t to allow them to work, that feeling – and their determination of whether they’re fit to report to work – is valid. It’s correct. They deserve to be able to just “call in sick,” treated in every respect as though they were calling in sick for any physical reason out there, without doing some sort of special “mental health day” dance, with an essay to their employer justifying why their mental health should count for something.

My ask to employers, managers, and supervisors out there:

Acknowledge that physical and mental health are both just “health,” and adjust your leave policies so that you treat sick leave the same for both. Don’t inadvertently add to the stigma toward mental health by making it seem different. Also, make sure that you actually provide enough leave for your team members to take care of themselves.

My ask to workers:

Next time you need a day off for your mental health, just call in sick like you would if you had a cold. Resist the temptation to justify your health needs, in a way that you would never do with a physical ailment. (Obviously, consider your personal circumstances before you do that – if you’re precariously employed, or you have a garbage workplace, I absolutely understand that you might not be in a position to do this.)

The idea here isn’t to stop talking about mental health – on the contrary. We need to be talking about mental health as a legitimate health issue that is on par with physical health. If we all do our part to reframe the dialogue on mental health as a reason to take time off, then we can make some serious progress breaking down the stigma that folks still face when voicing and acting upon their mental health experiences.

An argument against “mental health days”2019-01-30T16:36:44-08:00
Fri December 14

BOARD SHORTS: December 14, 2018


Here are the highlights from the December 14th meeting of the CSU board of directors.

The board express its support for the Dundarave-Phibbs B-line project. Also selected international students liaison Nirmal Raj to sit on the search committee for the university’s new vice-president of university relations and selected business & professional studies representative Joey Sidhu to sit on university’s the convocation graduand regalia committee.

To read the full set of December 14 board minutes, please visit the CSU website. The next board meeting is scheduled for January 4 in Birch 126.

BOARD SHORTS: December 14, 20182018-12-18T16:22:59-08:00
Fri December 7

BOARD SHORTS: December 7, 2018


Here are the highlights from the December 7th meeting of the CSU board of directors.

The meeting started with a presentation from the Capilano University president Paul Dangerfield. The board also approved future CSU events including massage therapy. They also approved the purchase of a 3D printer for the CSU 3D Printing Club.

To read the full set of December 7 board minutes, please visit the CSU website. The next board meeting is scheduled for December 14 in Birch 126.

BOARD SHORTS: December 7, 20182018-12-18T16:26:58-08:00
Fri November 23

BOARD SHORTS: November 23, 2018


Here are the highlights from the November 23 meeting of the CSU board of directors.

The CSU board has approved the investment of $20,000 into the Sunshine Coast Credit Union’s Impactful Investment Fund. This risk-free investment is a great way to stay connected, while supporting our students and community on the Sunshine Coast.

CapRocks has officially launched! Ticket sales has begun for the January 11 concert and are available for purchase at the CSU Members Centre and the cafeteria during lunch hour.

To read the full set of November 23 board minutes, please visit the CSU website. The next board meeting is scheduled for November 30 in Birch 126.

BOARD SHORTS: November 23, 20182018-12-18T16:02:12-08:00
Fri October 19

BOARD SHORTS: October 19, 2018


Here are the highlights from the October 19 meeting of the CSU board of directors.

The board selected CSU president Anna-Elaine Rempel as representative on the university’s food and beverage committee. They also selected Rempel and accessibility justice coordinator Andre to be delegates to the Canadian Alliance of Student Association’s  Advocacy Week, with business & professional studies representative Joey Sidhu as the alternate delegate.

To read the full set of October 19 board minutes, please visit the CSU website. The next board meeting is scheduled for November 2, in Birch 126.

BOARD SHORTS: October 19, 20182018-12-18T16:04:05-08:00