Canadian Federation of Students responds to You Decide Campaign

CFS Chairpersons stress importance of unity, advocacy
CFS-O offices, at 180 Bloor St. NATHAN CHAN/THE VARSITY
CFS-O offices, at 180 Bloor St. NATHAN CHAN/THE VARSITY

Following the launch of the You Decide UofT campaign, which calls for a referendum on the University of Toronto Students’ Union’s (UTSU) continued membership with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), the CFS has responded to the campaign.

In an email to The Varsity, CFS National Chairperson Bilan Arte said: “I am confident that U of T students understand the importance of a national student movement. All five students’ unions at the university are united under the national banner of the CFS and they are stronger because of it.”

When asked what future steps the CFS will take in response to You Decide UofT, Arte mentioned the CFS was on campus throughout orientation and would continue to be present all fall.

Rajean Hoilett, the Chairperson of  CFS-O, made similar remarks: “I believe that students are stronger when we are united and working together. In the last year alone we’ve all seen students achieve significant victories right here in Ontario and across the country.”

“But we still have so much work to do,” Hoilett added. “With the expiration of the current tuition fee framework and the government looking at changing how it funds colleges and universities, students have a real opportunity to advance our call for affordable and accessible post-secondary education.”

In addition, both Arte and Hoilett spoke on the importance of the CFS various activism efforts on campus.

You Decide UofT organizer Jonathan Webb recognized the CFS’s advocacy efforts but stressed the importance of giving students a choice on continued membership.

“We acknowledge the efforts put forth by the CFS by way of activism and advocacy. The goal of a referendum is to give students an opportunity to decide if what they do is up to par and still fitting their needs after running on 14 years of membership,” Webb said.

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