word edition - Central Student Association

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Benefits of Membership with the Canadian Federation of Students and Moving
Forward
As undergraduate students at the University of Guelph, you are members of three (3)
student organizations: your Central Student Association (CSA), the Canadian
Federation of Students Ontario (CFS-O) and the Canadian Federation of Students
National (CFS-N). Together, your CSA and your provincial and national student
organization work to advocate on your behalf providing an effective and united voice on
the local, provincial and federal level. As members, you pay membership fees for all
three organizations. These fees allow us to provide you with cost saving and support
services, develop campaigns on important student issues, conduct valuable research,
and provide you with strong representation and a better campus life.
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Your CSA works on multiple levels and directly interacts with you to defend your rights
and interests on a number of issues, including advocating for reduced tuition fees, a
safer and more sustainable campus, increased student space, fall reading weeks and
the removal of illegal ancillary fees like graduation fees.
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Your provincial and national organizations, CFS-O and CFS-N, primarily focus on
student issues at the provincial and federal levels respectively. By acting together as a
network of 38 student unions across the province and over 80 students’ unions across
the country, we can take student interests and concerns to key decision makers and
governments to the benefit of you, our members. By working together we can increase
our chances of success and learn from each other to strengthen our efforts.
In addition, CFS-O and CFS-N provide support to individual student unions and their
members by offering services. These include the International Student Identity Card, the
Studentsaver Discount program, an ethical bulk purchasing network, and free online tax
filing systems. For more info about the services, please visit
http://cfsontario.ca/en/section/161.
The ISIC card is free to CFS members, and is the only internationally recognized
student card that allows students to prove their student status and access discounts
around the world. The Studentsaver Discount program encourages local businesses to
offer discounts through the ISIC card exclusively to students and this year Guelph has
over 15 businesses signed up, including Play with Clay, Wyndham Arts Supplies, The
Stone Store, Magnolia Café, Get Juiced, Pierre’s Poutine and many more!
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Your CSA and student clubs can use the ethical bulk purchasing network to purchase
sweatshop free swag and promotional materials at low costs. Products include
sustainable items made from post consumer materials, union- and Canadian-made
products and sweatshop free items, like t-shirts made by the Single Mothers’
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Cooperative of El Salvador, Visit this link for more info about the ethical purchasing
network,. The online tax filing system, UFile.ca, allows members to file their taxes for
free (click here for more info).
Furthermore, your CSA, the CFS-O and the CFS-N work on a variety of campaigns
driven by the active participation of our members in order to raise public awareness of
the issues and to influence government decision-making. Through these campaigns, we
work to make our campuses safer and our world a more environmental and socially just
place. Campaign focuses include quality and accessible education, sustainability, public
transit, food security, anti-racism, women’s issues, issues facing international students,
bottled water free campuses, combating sexual violence, and campaigns to end hate
and discrimination on campus. A full list of the campaigns can be found here. In addition
to helping with the coordination of all these campaigns, CFS provides student unions
and their members with research and resources, including the following materials:
posters, fact sheets, buttons, and campaign & event organizing guides and toolkits.
(http://cfsontario.ca/downloads/CFS-Equity%20buttons.pdf).
Probably the most notable campaign of the CFS is the Hikes Stop Here and Education
is a Right Campaigns that challenges our government to fully fund post secondary
education and eliminate tuition fees. These campaign involves 300,000 students across
Ontario and 600,000 students across Canada and have resulted in numerous
successes and victories. In 2004, the CFS won a fully funded tuition fee freeze in
Ontario. The Ontario government reaffirmed the freeze for the 2005-06 academic year.
This year, the average full-time student saves $557+ every year because of this
freeze. A full list of successes and victories can be found here. CFS and your CSA
continue to lobby the University, provincial and federal governments to reduce tuition
fees, for more non-repayable grants not loans, for a national post-secondary education
plan and for improvements to the quality of education, including an end to funding cuts
and the safeguarding of University of Guelph programs and services.
This year, your CSA and the CFS-O are working together to create a province-wide
Student Space Taskforce to address the lack of student space, club space and study
space on university campuses across Ontario.
The University has refused to collect CFS membership fees at the expense of your CSA
and undergraduate students and as a result we are filling a court order against the
University to release fees held in trust to pay to the CFS and CFS-O. This is the best
approach to minimize costs for our undergraduate members, and your CSA. Details of
the history, rationale and decisions can be found by visiting
http://www.csaonline.ca/cfsdispute/.
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We hope to resolve this issue within this academic year and to better spend our time
working on pressing student issues and concerns. Together, undergraduate students at
the University of Guelph, will continue to work together with students across the
province and across Canada to improve student experiences at the University of
Guelph.
To learn more about campaign involvement opportunities, and what the CFS offers
Guelph students and how it supports your CSA, please contact your External Affairs
Commissioner at [email protected] or visit the CSA Office.
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For more information about the membership history, please contact your Human
Resources & Operations Commissioner at [email protected] or visit the CSA
Office.
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For general information about your CSA, please visit csaonline.ca or contact your
Communications & Corporate Affairs Commissioner at [email protected]
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