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Wed September 9

CSU President’s Address 2020/21

2020-09-10T16:12:46-07:00September 9th, 2020|Blog|

FULL TEXT OF PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS

Here we are, a new academic year at Capilano University begins, a year unlike any other. While I wanted to come to all of you and talk about how great this year will be — and it will be good in its own way — I can’t honestly look forward to the year to come without reflecting on where we were at this time last year, the events of the past several months, and the current state of our global community.

We are collectively mourning, still, for losses we can name and identify as well as others we can’t. While Black and Indigenous communities in Canada are grieving from a centuries-long legacy of colonial and racist violence that is now thrust into mainstream public discourse, a global health emergency continues to underpin every aspect of our lives. While the events of the past several months have affected each of us differently depending on our identity, employment status, immigration status, and personal health, we have all experienced loss.

What a background upon which to return to school, which is why I want to recognize each and every one of you for having the courage, the tenacity, and the resilience to choose to pursue your post-secondary education right now — whether you’re coming back to Cap or taking classes for the first time. For those of you who may not have a choice, and are continuing your education out of necessity — I see you too.

More than ever we need to lean on one another for support, think collectively, and re-imagine what it means to connect as a community. This has been top of mind at the Capilano Students’ Union, and we’ve been working all summer to ensure that our community has access to the services they need to be successful this year. And when I say “success”, I mean whatever that looks like for you, because as much as we are called to reach out and support one another this year, we must also turn inwards, practice self-compassion, and be gentle with ourselves.

The Capilano Students’ Union remains committed to enhancing the student experience of those studying at CapU. We’ve worked hard to adapt our programs and services to be delivered online and remotely, including the Device Doctor personal electronics repair service, Community Cupboard food bank, and the newly launched csubookmarket.ca. As the voice of students on the North Shore, we continue to meet university administration as well as representatives from the local, provincial, and federal levels of government in order to make sure our members’ perspectives are heard. 

I’m not going to sugar-coat this for you, it’s going to be a challenging year. University is no walk in the park, and when our global community is shifting at an increasingly rapid pace around us, there are plenty of opportunities to be pulled away from our studies. Despite this, we have the incredible privilege of pursuing higher education and now is the time to use our knowledge, community connections, and experiences to create the world we want to live in — and leave a legacy that will empower our descendants and communities to thrive for generations to come.

In a time of unprecedented challenge, we must practice unprecedented kindness, unprecedented compassion, and unprecedented love, and we have to do it together. I know that no matter where we are in the world, the students of Capilano University, with the support of their student union, are capable of all that and whatever else this year has in store for us.

So, welcome to the 2020/2021 academic year.

Mon August 24

U-Pass BC program update

2020-08-25T17:30:19-07:00August 24th, 2020|Blog, COVID-19|

compass card held in front of a bus

The U-Pass BC program provides Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) members (Capilano University students) with unlimited access to transit in the Metro Vancouver region. Following the temporary suspension of the U-Pass BC program for the summer term, we continued to work with TransLink, public post-secondary institutions, and student associations across Metro Vancouver to find a solution for the fall term.

After careful consideration and extensive discussion, we can now share that the U-Pass BC program will resume at Capilano University starting on September 1, 2020.

How U-Pass BC works

The U-Pass BC program is structured as a universal and mandatory program for students at participating public post-secondary institutions; it is this universal model that makes the affordability of the U-Pass BC program possible. For students who rely on the U-Pass BC program, this means savings of up to $538 on transit passes every single term.

U-Pass BC fees for the fall term have already been assessed to all students enrolled in classes that would normally be delivered in-person at the main campus or at CapU Lonsdale — this includes classes that are being taught via mixed mode or remote, adapted learning due to COVID-19.

Exemptions and eligibility

Certain students are exempt from the U-Pass BC program, including students with disabilities that preclude the use of conventional transit or HandyDART services, students who hold another transit pass for the entire term, or students who have a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution.

Students are also exempt if they are both (a) studying entirely online without any on-campus instruction, and (b) are living outside of Metro Vancouver. If you are living outside of Metro Vancouver for the fall term due to the public health emergency, and your studies are online, then this exemption may apply to you.

More information on eligibility and exemptions, including application forms, can be found on the Capilano University website.

Please note that if you intend to apply for one of these exemption options, we recommend that you do not request or load your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card through the U-Pass BC website, as this may result in one or more months of the U-Pass BC fee being non-refundable.

Eligible students not intending to apply for an exemption can visit TransLink’s U-Pass BC website to request their September pass.

Financial assistance

We understand the financial barriers that students are facing, and the CSU will continue to support students who are struggling financially. Late last week, the CSU board of directors approved a new CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund, which provides a bursary equivalent to 50% of the value of U-Pass BC fees for one term for students with demonstrated financial need. The U-Pass BC Hardship Fund application process can be found on the CSU website.

The CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund follows a $75,000 donation to CapU’s Emergency Endowment Fund made earlier this year to help students experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Students with immediate need of financial resources are encouraged to reach out to the CapU financial aid & awards department to discuss options for emergency financial assistance.

Feedback?

We understand some students will have concerns respecting the resumption of the U-Pass BC program, given the unprecedented public health situation. We have carefully considered the concerns that have been raised in recent months, alongside the messages we received from students expressing that they wish to continue accessing the U-Pass BC program, and the significant transit savings that the program provides.

If you would like to share your thoughts about the U-Pass BC program, we encourage you to continue providing us with your perspective at [email protected].

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The U-Pass BC program is a universal, mandatory program for all students enrolled in at least one course and provides unlimited access to transit in the Metro Vancouver region. This includes all bus routes, SkyTrain, and SeaBus. It also gives access to discounts on West Coast Express fares. The U-Pass BC program, including the fee, has been approved by Capilano University students in a referendum.

The U-Pass BC program is a universal, mandatory program for all students enrolled in at least one course. All students who are enrolled in classes that would normally be delivered in-person at the North Vancouver campus or at CapU Lonsdale are required to take part in the U-Pass program. This includes those enrolled in classes that are being taught via mixed mode or remote, adapted (online) learning as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

As a universal, mandatory program, exemptions from the program are limited.

A student is exempt if they have a disability that precludes the use of conventional transit or HandyDART services; if they already have another transit pass for the entire term; or if they have a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution.

A student is also exempt if they are both (a) studying entirely online without any on-campus instruction, and (b) are living outside of the TransLink service region. If you are living outside of Metro Vancouver for the fall term due to the public health emergency, and your studies are online, then this exemption may apply to you.

For more information on exemptions, including application forms, click here.

Please note that if you intend to apply for one of these exemption options, we recommend that you do not request or load your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card through the U-Pass BC website, as this may result in one or more months of the U-Pass BC fee being non-reversible.

The U-Pass BC program is structured as a universal and mandatory program for students at participating post-secondary institutions, and it is this universal model that makes the affordability of the U-Pass BC program possible. For students who rely on the U-Pass BC program, this means savings of up to $538 on transit passes every single term.

Certain students are exempt from the U-Pass BC program, including students with disabilities that preclude the use of conventional transit or HandyDART services, students who hold another transit pass for the entire term, or students who have a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution. 

Students are also exempt if they are both (a) studying entirely online without any on-campus instruction, and (b) are living outside of the TransLink service region. If you are living outside of Metro Vancouver for the fall term due to the public health emergency, and your studies are online, then this exemption may apply to you.

If you meet any of the above criteria, you are exempt from the U-Pass BC program and can apply for a fee reversal or refund. For more information on exemptions, including application forms, click here.

Please note that if you intend to apply for one of these exemption options, we recommend that you do not request or load your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card through the U-Pass BC website, as this may result in one or more months of the U-Pass BC fee being non-reversible.

Students are exempt from the U-Pass BC program if they are both (a) studying entirely online without any on-campus instruction, and (b) are living outside of the TransLink service region. If you are living outside of Metro Vancouver for the fall term due to the public health emergency, and your studies are online, then this exemption may apply to you. However, if you are living within the TransLink service region you are still eligible for the U-Pass BC program, even if all your classes are online. 

Students are also exempt if they have disabilities that preclude the use of conventional transit or HandyDART services, as well as students who hold another transit pass for the entire term, or students who have a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution. 

If you meet any of the above criteria, you are exempt from the U-Pass BC program and can apply for a fee-reversal or refund. For more information on exemptions, including application forms, click here.

Please note that if you intend to apply for one of these exemption options, we recommend that you do not request or load your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card through the U-Pass BC website, as this may result in one or more months of the U-Pass BC fee being non-reversible.

If you meet the criteria for an exemption, you must complete an exemption application form, which can be found at this link. If your application is accepted, then Capilano University will reverse or refund the applicable U-Pass BC fees.

Capilano University has always offered a selection of courses and programs that are always delivered in an online format, irrespective of the current public health emergency. Students enrolled in these online classes have always been, and continue to be, exempt from the U-Pass BC program.

Some Capilano University courses have been moved from in-person course delivery to a remote, adapted format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that some classes that would have ordinarily been delivered in-person at the North Vancouver campus are now being delivered to students remotely. Students enrolled in these classes would ordinarily be eligible for the U-Pass BC program, and will continue to have access to region-wide travel for a low fee while these classes have been temporarily moved to a remote, adapted delivery format.

The Capilano Students’ Union board of directors recently approved a new CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund, which provides a bursary equivalent to 50% of the value of U-Pass BC fees for one term for students with demonstrated financial need. The CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund application process can be found here.

If you are living outside of the TransLink service region for the fall term, and your studies are online, then you may be exempt from the U-Pass BC program. For more information on exemptions, including application forms, click here.

In terms of determining residency in Metro Vancouver, the following is an exhaustive list of places defined as “in Metro Vancouver” for the purposes of the U-Pass BC program:

Metro Vancouver

• Anmore
• Belcarra
• Bowen Island
• Burnaby
• Coquitlam
• Delta
• Langley, City and Township
• Lions Bay
• Maple Ridge
• New Westminster
• North Vancouver, City and District
• Pitt Meadows
• Port Coquitlam
• Port Moody
• Richmond
• Surrey, including Barnston Island
• Tsawwassen First Nation
• UBC
• University Endowment Lands
• Vancouver
• West Vancouver
• White Rock

For greater certainty, the following are examples of areas not part of Metro Vancouver:

• Abbotsford (Fraser Valley Regional District)
• Chilliwack (Fraser Valley Regional District)
• Mission (Fraser Valley Regional District)
• Hope (Fraser Valley Regional District)
• Harrison Hot Springs (Fraser Valley Regional District)
• Squamish (Squamish-Lillooet Regional District)
• Whistler (Squamish-Lillooet Regional District)
• Lillooet (Squamish-Lillooet Regional District)
• Pemberton (Squamish-Lillooet Regional District)
• Sechelt (Sunshine Coast Regional District)
• Gibsons (Sunshine Coast Regional District)

Thu July 16

U-Pass BC program remains suspended until August 31, 2020. Plans for fall semester ongoing.

2020-07-16T17:20:15-07:00July 16th, 2020|Blog, COVID-19|

The Capilano Students’ Union worked closely with its partners at TransLink, other student associations, and post-secondary institutions to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program from May 1 as course delivery moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We worked hard during our negotiations with TransLink to ensure that as many students as possible would benefit from the program suspension. We understand that some students still use transit services to get to work, run errands, care for loved ones, etc. However, the way that the U-Pass BC program is setup to allow a low-fee for region-wide transit requires it to be an “all or nothing” program and so there was unfortunately no option for individual students who needed it to choose to pay for a U-Pass, or receive a concession fare for transit services.

We recognize that the fall semester is going to look very different for many students. With classes online and COVID-19 still present in BC, many students will be learning from home or reducing their travel and chance of exposure. Others may not even be physically in Metro Vancouver. Financial resources are also tight for students and any extra money in their pocket would be hugely beneficial. On the other hand, many students are still taking classes or conducting research on campus, travelling to and from work, and relying on transit for errands, groceries, and social connections. For these students who rely on transit, the cost of a monthly pass is much higher than the reduced cost of a U-Pass and would be an even bigger financial burden during this challenging time. 

In short, there is unfortunately no easy solution for administering the U-Pass BC program in the fall semester considering the large disparity in the number of students needing the program, the requirement to follow the terms of the U-Pass BC agreement, and importance of respecting the large amount of student support for the program in every U-Pass BC referendum conducted by student associations across the region.

We are working tremendously hard with our partners at TransLink, other student associations, and post-secondary institutions across Metro Vancouver to find the best path forward for this program. We know that a reduced transit pass is a lifeline for many students, while also being a huge financial burden for others during this uncertain time. We remain confident that we will be able to come to a solution that works for the largest number of students, but unfortunately don’t have anything concrete to share with you at this time. 

The suspension is currently agreed to be in place up until the end of August 2020. However, as discussions with partners are ongoing to determine if and when the U-Pass BC program can resume, you may have noticed that your fee statement includes the U-Pass BC fee for fall course registration. Please note, this fee is still subject to change, as no decision has been made yet about the operations of the program. If the U-Pass BC remains suspended for the fall term, CapU will provide those students who have paid the U-Pass BC fee an account-credit or a refund.

Please continue to share your views with us by emailing [email protected] as we are taking all student feedback into account as we continue discussions with TransLink and post-secondary institutions to try and come to a solution that benefits students.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As summer courses at all post-secondary institutions in Metro Vancouver will be delivered via online learning, the decision was made by TransLink, student associations (including the CSU), and post-secondary institutions to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program until classes return to in-person learning.

We worked hard during our negotiations with TransLink to ensure that as many students as possible would benefit from the program suspension. However, the program is “all or nothing” and so there is unfortunately no option for individual students to opt-in to the U-Pass BC program.

The U-Pass BC program suspension is currently agreed to be in place up until the end of August 2020. Students enrolled in courses for fall 2020 have been assessed the U-Pass BC fee but that fee is still subject to change, as no decision has been made yet about the operations of the program. 

If the U-Pass BC remains suspended for the fall term, the post-secondary institution will provide those students who have paid the U-Pass BC fee an account-credit or a refund.

The university issued refunds to those who did not activate their April passes now as well as those who activated their April pass and spent less than $41. Refunds were applied to students’ CapU accounts. 

According to CapU’s website, fee refunds are mailed to the address on your myCapU account about six weeks after the beginning of the term, so students with positive balances in their CapU accounts should have either received their refunds already or be receiving their refunds soon. Check your mail!

Email [email protected] to share your views, as we are taking all student feedback into account as we continue discussions with TransLink and post-secondary institutions to try and come to a solution that benefits students.

Thu June 11

Letter to Capilano University faculty on consideration for Black students

2020-06-15T12:11:16-07:00June 11th, 2020|Blog|

Dear Capilano University faculty members,

The world is rallying around the injustice of the killing of Black folks in the United States and Canada including George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. Amidst this, discussions around white supremacy, police violence, and anti-racism are more prevalent than ever. We stand in solidarity and support with our Black community members: students, faculty, and staff.

Black lives matter.

Many Black folks are being asked for emotional labour, or feeling a sense of responsibility to engage online in more dedicated ways than before. Discussions about breaking down systemic racism are critical, but the inundation of information we are receiving — especially in response to such violence — is exhausting and triggering for racialized and, especially, Black students in our community. The Black community in Vancouver is small, and many members of this community have either had direct interactions with the police themselves, or know someone who has. These interactions are negative, violent, and traumatizing — and the current news and social media climate has the capacity to re-traumatize folks with these experiences.

On behalf of our students and the Black community, we ask you to proactively provide academic accommodations to Black students through the summer semesters, in recognition that students’ well-being is the first priority during these exceptional circumstances. While there are ways in which students may ask for accommodations themselves, such as approaching accessibility services or counselling, these are institutional barriers that many don’t have the ability to interface with at this time.

Our appeal is this: treat students with the same compassion you would hope to receive were your community grieving or under duress. We are an institution of higher learning, and right now our students are being called on to be community instructors and educate the world on systemic oppression, police brutality, and what it means to be anti-racist. We call on you to honour this additional labour these students have been forced to undertake, and listen with an open mind and heart when they ask for your support.

______________
Emily Bridge
President, Capilano Students’ Union

CC: Laureen Styles (Vice President, Academic and Provost)
Ted Gervan (Dean, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts)
Pouyan Mahboubi (Dean, Faculty of Arts & Sciences)
Brad Martin (Dean, Faculty of Education, Health, & Human Development)
Lara Duke (Dean, Faculty of Global & Community Studies)
Capilano Faculty Association

Thu June 4

CSU condemns anti-Black racism and stands in solidarity with those demanding justice

2020-06-04T14:04:31-07:00June 4th, 2020|Blog|

We stand in solidarity and support with members of the Capilano University community who may be grieving or in distress due to recent events in both Canada and the United States. We stand in solidarity and in anger with Black leaders, organizers, and all those protesting as they demand justice and rally for an end to systemic racism. We condemn the relentless violence that Black people face due to systemic oppression, it must stop.

Black Lives Matter.

We will not, after a week of rage, sit down and be quiet. We will not look south of the border and shake our heads, refusing to acknowledge the history of police violence and systemic oppression within our own country. Systemic racism is rooted in colonial systems – the RCMP was created to force Indigenous peoples off their land and police their way of life. Black people and Indigenous people in Canada face disproportionate levels of police violence and incarceration. 

This is white supremacy in action and it is not contained within one country’s borders.

As a predominantly white organization, we commit ourselves to doing anti-racism education and work, and providing opportunities to educate all Capilano University students and community members. We commit to looking inward and dismantling unconscious biases within our own organizational structure and procedures. We commit to amplifying Black and melanated voices through our programming and service delivery. We commit to doing the ongoing work necessary to dismantle white supremacy and colonialism in our community, and challenging others to do the same.

Black love, families, art, voices, LGBTQ2S+ rights, and futures matter.

#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForRegis


Resources

Support

CSU Students of Colour Liaison
Feven Kidane, the CSU’s students of colour liaison, identifies as a Black woman and encourages members of the Black community to reach out at [email protected] if they need support.

Black Youth Helpline
The Black Youth Helpline focuses on community development and support for Black youth across Canada. They are available by phone, email, or social media.

Capilano University Health & Counselling Services
During Capilano University’s reduction of on-campus services, counselling appointments may be booked via phone (604.984.1744) and email ([email protected]). 

Empower Me Mental Health Resources
Empower Me, a mental health and wellness service offered through the CSU’s health and dental plan provider, provides access to professionals with various domains of expertise to support you and respond effectively to diverse needs. Services are available via secure telephone- or video-conferencing. Capilano students can call Empower Me’s 24-hour helpline at 1.833.648.5589.

BC Mental Health Support Line
BC Mental Health Support Line is available at 310.6789 (do not add 604, 778 or 250 before the number). This number will connect you to your local BC crisis line without a wait or busy signal, 24 hours a day. Crisis line workers are trained to help provide emotional support as well as mental health information and resources.

Allyship & Antiracism Resources

How To Be Actively Antiracist
This resources list, adapted from a Google Document curated by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein, is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen their anti-racism work.

Guide to Allyship
The Guide to Allyship is an evolving open-source guide to help you become a more thoughtful and effective ally.

Anti-Racism Tools for Educators
This resource list was developed for educators interested in teaching the histories and present-day realities of race and racism in Canada. It is curated by the Anti-Racism Resource Centre, based in Peterborough, Ontario. 

10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship
This 10-step guide created by writer and activist Mireille Cassandra Harper as a starting point for those interested in becoming allies.

Local and Canadian

Black Lives Matter Vancouver
Black Lives Matter’s Vancouver chapter can be found here.
WebsiteFacebookDonation Link 

Hogan’s Alley Society
Hogan’s Alley Society is a non-profit organization committed to researching, preserving, and publicizing black history in Vancouver and BC.

Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19
This fundraiser provides low-barrier, emergency, micro-grants for black people in BC who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice for Regis Fundraiser
This fundraiser raises money to fight for justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who died while being pursued by police in Toronto. 

Tue April 21

Capilano Students’ Union commits $75,000 to emergency financial aid for domestic and international students

2020-04-21T16:10:04-07:00April 21st, 2020|Blog, COVID-19, Media Advisories|

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC — The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) is committing $75,000 to support students as they come under increasing financial pressure during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds will be used to increase access to low-barrier emergency financial assistance for both domestic and international students at Capilano University.

“One of the top concerns we’ve been hearing from students is financial uncertainty,” said CSU president Emily Bridge. “We are hopeful that this funding will provide some relief during what has been a very difficult time for many students.”

Capilano University’s financial aid department will administer distribution of the new funds, which will be used to ensure that emergency financial assistance can be provided to a greater number of both domestic and international students. 

“International students face unique challenges, and borders do not exist in the context of this public health emergency, so it’s important that the funding made available is accessible to everyone, regardless of where they come from,” continued Bridge. 

In addition to releasing emergency funding, the CSU has adapted many of its public-facing programs and services to be delivered online during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Facebook group Capilano Quarantine Corner was created to give students a platform to connect online during the current period of physical distancing. Community Cupboard, the organization’s food bank program, now offers free grocery store gift cards to those in need. Device Doctor, the personal electronics repair service that is free-to-use for students, now offers software support by phone and no-contact hardware drop-off and pick-up.

Mon March 30

CSU seeks academic accommodations from university, continues digital adaptation of services

2020-03-30T11:06:49-07:00March 30th, 2020|Blog, COVID-19|

A MESSAGE FROM CSU PRESIDENT EMILY BRIDGE


We’ve received a lot of communication from students expressing concern about not having heard much from the university as the end of the semester approaches. The CSU is governed by students, so your fears, concerns, and worries are ours as well. We are in continued communication with university and will be meeting with them this week, so we’ll be bringing your concerns to them and reporting back to you. On Friday, the CSU board of directors passed a strong statement in favour of academic accommodations for the spring and summer, which can be found here

We continue to liaise with all levels of government and will be conveying all pertinent information to students as we get it. To help keep you as informed as possible, we have compiled a summary of resources related to the COVID-19 public health crisis that are available from various levels of government, universities, and external organizations. We will be updating this page with newly announced resources being made available to students, in as timely manner as possible. Please continue to refer to official sources, for the most up-to-date, accurate information.

The CSU has continued to adapt its programming and services to be delivered online. Our board of directors and staff have shifted to meeting and working remotely in alignment with guidance from public health agencies and will continue to support and represent students at Capilano University. 

Services

The Community Cupboard service is presently being administered completely online, offering grocery store gift cards to those in need rather than its usual food bags. We aim to limit access to this service once per semester but will aim to work with students to provide as much support as we can. To access the Community Cupboard, please fill out the request form found here and someone will be in touch with you shortly.                                                                         

The Device Doctor personal electronics repair service is still available to students. Technical support is available via phone (call or text) at 778.360.2545 or by email. For hardware repairs, we are prepared to make arrangements for no-contact drop-off and pick-up. As usual, students only pay the price of parts — labour is free! 

The CSU Health and Dental Plan is operating for students as normal. You are welcome to reach out to us or Studentcare if you have questions about your plan. 

Advocacy & Campaigns 

The CSU led a team of 10 BC students groups in demanding a rent freeze and eviction ban during the COVID-19 public health emergency. While we were pleased to see the premier declare a suspension of evictions and rent increases less than 24 hours later, the announcement fell short of a full freeze on rent payments.

Volunteer opportunities for Cap International Tuition (Cap IT), the campaign to lobby Capilano University to officially adopt a policy capping international tuition at 2%, have moved online. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to sign the petition

The CSU, alongside other student societies and post-secondary institutions, is exploring the feasibility of lobbying TransLink to provide refunds for unused months of the U-Pass BC discount transit pass. We are currently in communication with TransLink and will provide updates as soon as we can. 

Events & Community

While CSU-organized in-person events are cancelled for the remainder of the semester, we are developing a variety of online methods of community-building for Capilano students. 

In addition to stepping up our online presence on our traditional social media, we’ve also created Capilano Quarantine Corner — a Facebook group for Capilano students to connect online during this period of social distancing. Online events like Netflix viewing parties, contests, and virtual trivia games aim to provide an opportunity for the Capilano student community to practice social solidarity. Please join in! 

We are developing a series of virtual workshops, such as nutrition and meal-planning, budgeting, meditation and well-being, and more. 

The CSU remains committed to advocating for and representing Capilano University students during this difficult time. Wherever and whenever possible, the CSU will be providing all of our regular programs and services, and adapting programming with students’ input. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are available to field questions via social media (include Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) as well as email.

Emily Bridge
CSU President and Vice-President, Equity & Sustainability

Mon March 23

BC students demand a rent freeze and ban on evictions

2020-03-24T11:21:54-07:00March 23rd, 2020|Blog, COVID-19|

Dear Premier Horgan, Minister James, and Minister Robinson, 

With today’s release of BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan, we were encouraged to see the government’s commitment to helping BC residents during this unprecedented health crisis. The rapid response from policymakers is admirable and we recognize that creating a comprehensive plan to support those who are most at-risk during this period of instability is an immense endeavour. We appreciate that there are significant investments to support those most vulnerable being made by the government, including those that are not eligible for Employment Insurance. We especially recognize that the pause on BC student loan repayments is a huge relief for students. 

However, we were disappointed that relief for renters was not also announced, as the due date for rent for so many British Columbians is just one week away. Students, who make up around one million of the country’s tenants, are under threat of being pushed out of their living situations with little to no notice, forced to find alternate accommodation. In addition to uncertain housing situations, many work in the service and hospitality industries where they are experiencing major layoffs across the board. While these students may be able to access some benefits from federal and provincial governments in the coming months, this will not come quickly enough to help them make their rent payments due April 1.

International students are particularly vulnerable to the current public health emergency and associated impacts in our province. Without Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, their path forward through this crisis remains unclear. Like domestic students, they also make up a large proportion of workers in the service and hospitality industries that are facing widespread layoffs. In addition, federally mandated working limits and tenuous immigration status leave them with limited options for finding other work — not to mention the general lack of jobs that can be worked safely during the public health emergency. The vast majority of international students are renters that are far from their homes and families, with limited funds and support to begin with. They have now found themselves in a very precarious position.

Time is running out for all students as well as other vulnerable populations who rent in British Columbia. Without immediate support for renters, we could see a considerable portion of our population suddenly looking for new places to live, likely ending up temporarily housed with new groups of people, undoing some of the critical work that social distancing is achieving to flatten the curve.

We were also concerned to hear this afternoon that any evictions currently in progress will be going ahead as planned. Nothing about this time is “business as usual”, and by taking this approach we risk leaving those most in need of assistance behind. This further contributes to community transmission, putting additional stress on our healthcare system and reducing our ability to contain the virus.

Other organizations in the province are currently advocating for rent freezes and other protections to support renters during this difficult and uncertain time. The Vancouver Tenants Union has put a call out for British Columbians to add their names to a steadily growing list of renters that are worried they cannot make rent on April 1, or are at risk of eviction. They have also asked people to share their stories on social media with the hashtag #bcrentcrisis

The hashtag #rentfreezenow is also gaining traction as people share their struggles, fears, and uncertainty with the end of the month quickly approaching and little communication from the government coming forward. The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has also published an urgent call for provincial action to protect the well-being of low-income and at-risk British Columbians.

On Wednesday, we hope that you will make the right decision for all renters in the province. We look forward to collaborating with you in the coming days to find solutions that work for students, both domestic and international.

For all of the reasons above, immediate support for renters across the province is necessary. 

We call on the BC Government to implement a freeze on rent payments effective immediately, and a ban on evictions for all renters.

Yours sincerely,

Alliance of BC Students
Camosun College Student Society
Capilano Students’ Union
Kwantlen Student Association
Langara Students’ Association
Simon Fraser Student Society
University of the Fraser Valley Student Union Society
University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society
University of Victoria Graduate Student Society
University of Victoria Student Society

Tue March 17

Statement on CSU’s move to digital delivery of services

2020-03-17T16:43:28-07:00March 17th, 2020|Blog, COVID-19|

March 17, 4:30pm — In consideration of the quick escalation of precautions being recommended by various levels of government, and to ensure the safety and health of members of our team and the university community, the CSU has decided to cancel all in-person programming and events for the remainder of the semester.

We are taking steps to transition key programs, services, and meetings online and are exploring different ways to foster community digitally while students are away from campus. We are working to ensure that students continue to be supported and represented as Capilano University continues its work to shift away from in-person learning.

While the information desk at the CSU Members Centre will be closed for the remainder of the semester, CSU staff will be working remotely, and are available to field students’ questions via social media (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and email ([email protected]).

For more about COVID-19, including information on prevention, symptoms, how it spreads, travel, and what to do if you are sick, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 page. We encourage students to follow the advice of public health agencies.

The latest information from Capilano University can be found at this link.

Sun March 15

Statement on shift from in-person learning at Capilano University

2020-03-17T16:42:34-07:00March 15th, 2020|Blog, COVID-19|

March 15, 11:30am — Capilano University has announced that classes for Monday and Tuesday have been paused; university campuses and services remain open. The university has stated that this “pause” is in order to allow faculty and staff to prepare for a shift away from in-person learning.

Consistent with our usual practice when classes are not in session, the information desk at the CSU Members Centre (located in Library 195) will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. CSU staff remain available to field students’ questions via social media (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), email ([email protected]), and in-person at our main office (located in Maple 121).

Given the reduced number of students on campus, the CSU has decided to cancel all in-person CSU events scheduled to take place on Monday and Tuesday. Since voting in the CSU general election takes place entirely online, the chief returning officer has determined that voting will take place as scheduled from 9:00am on Tuesday, March 17 to 5:00pm on Thursday, March 19.

The CSU has conducted thorough risk assessments of all other events and programming organized by the CSU and its subsidiary bodies. Some events are being adapted in order to minimize risk, while others are to be postponed or cancelled. Unfortunately, this includes our kálax-ay end-of-year social, Rock the Boat, and components of each of Pride Week, Accessibility Awareness Week, and De-Stress Week.

Following the guidance of public health agencies, our remaining events will re-evaluated and adapted as the situation evolves. We are evaluating how best to ensure that students continue to be supported and represented as the university shifts away from in-person learning.

For more about COVID-19, including information on prevention, symptoms, how it spreads, travel, and what to do if you are sick, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 page.

The latest information from Capilano University can be found at this link.