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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.

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

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

 

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

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.

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.

Thu April 28

CSU applauds Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act as first step

2017-02-01T11:53:21+00:00

NORTH VANCOUVER April 28, 2016 – The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) applauds the introduction of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act as a first step towards helping to prevent sexualized violence on campus, developing a culture of survivor support, and making academic environments safer.

The legislation will require public post-secondary institutions to develop a sexual misconduct policy addressing instances of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, “revenge porn,” and attempts and threats to commit acts of sexual misconduct.

“Cases of sexualized violence are vastly underreported and too often perpetrators walk free,” said Taylor Wilson, vice-president of external relations of the CSU. “On-campus resources, policy, and procedures are essential to providing survivors the support they need.”

Of particular note is Bill 23’s requirement that sexual misconduct policies must be made in consultation with students. “The CSU looks forward to collaborating with Capilano University on this crucial issue, and we thank Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, Premier Christy Clark, and Dr. Andrew Weaver for making this legislation a reality,” said Wilson. “Together we can support survivors with respect and compassion, commit to consent, and ensure safer campuses for everyone.”

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Taylor Wilson, vice-president of external relations
Capilano Students’ Union
e vpexternalrelations@csu.bc.ca

Zach Renwick, president and spokesperson
Capilano Students’ Union
e president@csu.bc.ca

The Capilano Students’ Union advocates for the interests and needs of its members by lobbying Capilano University and all levels of government. The CSU delivers student services, provides resources to clubs and organizations on campus, and hosts a variety of events each year to promote the social, political, recreational, and academic welfare of its membership.

Wed April 15

Capilano Faculty Association responds to request for optional exams

2017-02-01T11:54:02+00:00

APRIL 15, 2015 — The Capilano Faculty Association has come out in opposition to the concept of optional exams, citing concerns surrounding academic integrity. The idea came up after an online petition requesting that exams for the spring 2015 semester be optional gained over 1,700 signatures. 

“Our courses are developed through an exacting process and scrutinized for suitable transferability,” the CFA stated in an update to the frequently asked questions document on their website. “We do not condone any notion of ‘optional’ exams, as we believe it could undermine both the value of our courses, and their transferability, currently identified through the province-wide BCCAT system.”

In an update to their own strike update page, the university has encouraged students to contact their instructor directly with any questions about their final exams and assignments.

“The decision to make final exams optional or mandatory is at the discretion of your instructor,” reads the update on the Capilano University faculty strike update page. “While the university sets the exam schedule, faculty is responsible for administering the exams and making decisions regarding the format, content and grade weight.”

The university has released a document detailing academic appeals process, which is available for download here. The academic grade appeal process is managed through the office of student affairs. For more information, contact studentaffairs@capilanou.ca.

The Capilano Students’ Union encourages students with scheduling questions to contact the registrar’s office by email at registrarassistant@capilanou.ca or by phoning or 604.984.4900. Students may also contact their instructors to ask about alternate arrangements.

The CSU also encourages students to reach out to counselling services if they are experiences heightened feelings of stress and anxiety, keeping in mind that mental and physical wellbeing is of paramount importance.

Tue April 14

Tips on getting extensions for exams and assignments

2017-02-01T11:54:12+00:00

APRIL 14, 2015 — As many of you are aware, the last few weeks have been incredibly stressful and hard on students’ lives and studies. We’ve heard all of your concerns and have spoken with the university and faculty on how to reschedule or defer exams and assignments. Here are some ways that students experiencing undue stress and hardship can get extensions on exams and/or projects.

  • If you are feeling stress or anxiety, book a meeting with the counselling office as soon as possible so that they can address your stress/anxiety and can help guide you through it. Remember that mental and physical wellbeing always comes first.
  • Email your instructors explaining your stress, conflicts, or barriers to success arising from the last few weeks and ask them for reasonable extensions on assignments.
  • Email registrarassistant@capilanou.ca so that the registrar’s office at the university is aware of your situation and can document you reaching out to faculty and attempt to find another exam time that fits.
  • Email Peter Hedley, the manager of student affairs, at studentaffairs@capilanou.ca to discuss grade appeals and other ways to navigate your situation.
    Remember to stay healthy everyone! Let us know what else we can do to help.
Mon April 13

CSU advocates optional exams

2017-02-01T11:54:18+00:00

11139407_868520266547368_3493863555265655584_nAPRIL 13, 2015 — The Capilano Students’ Union met with Richard Gale, Capilano University’s vice president of academic and provost, to advocate for optional exams and student rights.

The CSU began advocating for optional exams following a petition the surfaced shortly after the strike began. We encourage students to add their names to the petition to provide the opportunity for optional exams as we continue to meet with university administration and faculty.

 

 

 

Mon April 13

Strike Bulletin

2017-02-01T11:54:42+00:00

April 13, 2015 – North Vancouver – The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has continued to work hard over the weekend in order to better understand the positions of the University Administration (UA) and the Capilano Faculty Association (CFA), to ensure that the parties understand the impact that the ongoing labour dispute has on our members (i.e., the students of Capilano University), and to take whatever steps we can to minimize the impact of this situation of their academic careers.

Resuming Negotiations

The CSU invited both the UA and the CFA to an open forum on Monday, where students would be able to directly speak to representatives from both parties, and to ask questions, make comments, and express concerns. Unfortunately, the UA declined to participate, citing concerns about whether discussion about negotiations in an open forum could constitute an unfair labour practice. The CFA has not responded to the CSU’s invitation to attend the open forum.

The CSU has asked that student observers be allowed to attend the next mediation session between the UA and the CFA, to ensure that the discussions taking place, and the process, respect the interests and concerns of students.

The CSU will send an official statement to both the UA and the CFA, tonight, demanding that both parties come back to the table and resume collective bargaining immediately. The CSU requires both parties to resume discussions at once, and to conclude an agreement by Wednesday.

Final Exam Timeline

The CSU has expressed our members’ concerns to both the UA and the CFA, with respect to the altered schedule for final exams. We have already heard from a number of members who will face unreasonable hardship due to these last-minute changes. The CSU strongly opposes any further extension or alteration of the final exam schedule, due to the impact on our members, and an official statement to both the UA and the CFA will be issued this evening.

In response to a petition signed by over a thousand of our members, the CSU has also initiated discussions tonight with the UA and the CFA on whether final exams can be made optional for those students who are being impacted by the altered final exam schedule. We are preparing to make our case to senate (the highest academic decision-making body at the university), which currently has a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 21.

Grade Appeals

The CSU understands that many of our members may take issue with grades assigned at the end of this term, due to consequences of the strike – the inability to attend office hours, core course content not being delivered in advance of exams, or disrupted study schedules.

The CSU encourages any members who feel that they have been unfairly graded to get in touch with our advocacy service at advocacy@csu.bc.ca. The CSU can provide information about the university’s appeal policies and procedures, and help to ensure that you are treated fairly.

Navigating the Picket Line

The BC Labour Relations Board has issued an essential services order, setting out the reasons for which persons can come onto the campus without being considered to have “crossed the picket line.” Because this is an order of the Labour Relations Board, prompted by a university application for essential services, none of the parties have the authority to grant waivers.

Students should feel free to speak to faculty members and their supporters who are at the picket lines about their questions, comments, concerns and support. However, be aware that discussions at the picket line can become heated; the CSU reminds everyone to focus the conversation on facts and arguments, and not on the parties themselves.

Respect for the picket line, and decisions to cross the picket line, are a question of conscience for every member. If you do decide to cross the picket line, please be respectful of picketers and, if stopped or questioned, advise picketers that you are exercising your right to cross.

Communication

The CSU encourages members to continue to send questions, comments, or concerns via email message to strikeinfo@csu.bc.ca, or to message us through the CSU’s Facebook or Twitter accounts. We also encourage members to send us correspondence that they would like forwarded to the UA, the CFA, and other interested parties on campus.

Role of Government

We have had a number of members asking about the role of government in the ongoing collective bargaining process between the UA and the CFA. The board of governors has a duty to comply with the annual government letter of expectations issued by the minister of advanced education. The university must also ensure that any agreement reached between the UA and the CFA is acceptable to both the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association (a public sector employers’ association consisting of special-purpose teaching university, college, and institute presidents, and government representatives), and the Public Sector Employers’ Council (consisting of government ministers, and representatives of each of the public sectors).