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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.

Tue February 18

CSU welcomes needs-based grants announcement

2020-02-18T16:15:40-08:00February 18th, 2020|Blog, Media Advisories|

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.

Wed February 12

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

2020-02-12T16:14:11-08:00February 12th, 2020|Blog, Media Advisories|

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
[email protected]
604.240.8837

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.

Tue February 13

CSU applauds on-campus housing in throne speech

2018-02-15T10:58:19-08:00February 13th, 2018|Blog, Media Advisories|

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 [email protected]
p 604.831.1159

Wed February 7

Capilano Students’ Union recognized as a living wage employer

2018-02-07T11:45:43-08:00February 7th, 2018|Blog, Media Advisories|

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 [email protected] t (604) 910-5963

Background:
Christopher Girodat, executive director
Capilano Students’ Union
e [email protected] t (604) 990-7965

Mon September 11

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

2017-09-11T15:53:37-07:00September 11th, 2017|Blog, Media Advisories|

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 [email protected]

Wed September 7

Student housing a solution to the housing crisis

2019-01-22T12:29:41-08:00September 7th, 2016|Blog, Media Advisories|

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

 

Thu April 28

CSU applauds Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act as first step

2017-02-01T11:53:21-08:00April 28th, 2016|Blog, Media Advisories|

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 [email protected]

Zach Renwick, president and spokesperson
Capilano Students’ Union
e [email protected]

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.

Fri March 27

CSU PRESS RELEASE: CSU board votes to encourage CapU and CFA to reach fair settlement to avoid job action

2017-02-01T11:54:55-08:00March 27th, 2015|Blog, Media Advisories, Strike Updates|

March 27, 2015 – North Vancouver – The elected board of directors of the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU), at a board meeting on March 25, voted to encourage a swift resolution to the impending labour dispute between the Capilano Faculty Association (CFA) and Capilano University. The CSU’s position does not support either party over the other, but encourages a fair settlement as soon as possible to avoid disruptions to students’ classes and exams.

Throughout the week of March 9, the CFA (the union representing faculty members at CapU) conducted a strike vote, which garnered over 80% support in favour of job action if the ongoing negotiations hit an impasse. If a strike is implemented, that could mean a range of consequences for CapU students – from faculty members’ withdrawal of voluntary services; to partial or rotating strikes; to a full-scale strike, shutting down classes and deferring exams. The CSU hopes that the parties resolve their differences before that happens.

“The best outcome for students is for a fair settlement to be reached before any job action is taken,” says Sacha Fabry, the CSU’s vice-president of university relations and services. He continues to say, “It’s important to remember that the root cause of the current dispute is inadequate funding for post-secondary education by government.”

The CSU is committed to acting as a hub of information for all CapU students as the situation unfolds. Students are encouraged to keep themselves informed by checking the CSU website for updates at csu.bc.ca, to look for membership bulletins online and around campus, and to keep themselves connected and involved in the conversation through the CSU’s social media.

Wed January 21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CSU supports Transportation and Transit Plan

2019-02-14T15:20:28-08:00January 21st, 2015|Blog, Media Advisories, transit|

January 21, 2015 – On January 14, the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) board of directors voted in favour of endorsing and promoting a ‘yes’ vote for the upcoming Transportation and Transit Plan plebiscite. The decision was based on the positive impact that improvements to the public transportation system would have on the lives of students.

“Capilano University is a commuter campus, meaning that we do not have campus residence or student housing,” explained CSU President Brittany Barnes. “This means public transit and overall transportation is a serious concern for all of our students and an important part of their everyday lives,” she continued. “We need to see this system improved so that our students aren’t continually left on the side of the road as full busses pass by them or stuck in traffic congestion.”

The improvements that would result following a successful ‘yes’ vote are based on the Transportation and Transit Plan proposed by the mayors’ council outlining the following projects:

  • adding bus service and new B-Line rapid bus routes
  • increasing service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus, and West Coast Express
  • maintaining and upgrading the region’s major roads build a new Pattullo Bridge
  • building rapid transit connecting Surrey Centre with Guildford, Newton, and Langley
  • building rapid transit along Broadway in Vancouver
  • extending the region’s cycling and pedestrian walkway networks

Region-specific improvements, including those that directly benefit Capilano University and the surrounding area, can be found here.

The question that residents of Metro Vancouver will be asked to vote on is: “Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan?”

Ballots will be mailed beginning March 16, 2015 and must be mailed back by May 29, 2015. Voters must be registered with Elections BC in order to receive a ballot.

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For more information please contact:
Brittany Barnes, President & Vice-President of External Relations
Capilano Students’ Union
p (604) 789.6660| e [email protected]

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.