Let’s get ready to rumble.
Politics on campus right now is pretty simple. Some people, led by RSU president Nora Loreto, really like the Canadian Federation of Students, and think we should wholeheartedly support it.
Some other people, led by RSU VP Student Life and Events Abe Snobar, really don’t like the CFS and think we should de-federate. Petitions are being signed, meetings are being convened,and motions are being passed.
And the Eyeopener will be there to cover every kick, every punch, every half-bitten ear.
There are a lot of legitimate objections to the CFS. We send $400,000 its way every year in membership dues. We send a lot more its way by taking part in campaigns that basically amount to the RSU buying signs and pamphlets from the CFS at CFS prices. A prime example of this is the Reduce Tuition Fees campaign.
By defederating, so the argument goes, we can take that money, organize our own campaigns for less, and put the money we saved into bursaries.
The other side of the coin is that the CFS takes credit for the 2004 tuition freeze, it does organize important campaigns like No Means No, and No Islamophobia.
Critics of the CFS see it as arrogant, intolerant of criticism and resistant to change. And rightly so, but is de-federation the answer?
Students at Ryerson are better off united. We are better off as members of the students’ union so we have someone to represent us on campus. The same principle works across Canada. Having a united student lobby is important for protecting our rights.
The CFS organized the “Day of Anger” last February, and maybe that’s the answer.
Get angry at the CFS and fix it. Don’t trust the CFS. Don’t like the CFS. But don’t quit the CFS because you don’t like the way it’s being run. Work to make it better.