The referendum to defund the Toronto chapter of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), which collects a $0.50 levy from students per year, has failed.
Quorum for the referendum was set at 7.5 per cent of the 37,959 eligible voters. Results show that a total of 1,165 students voted in the referendum, representing 3.1 per cent. 686 students, or 59.9 per cent, voted no. There were 460 votes in favour of removing the levy, or 40.1 per cent. 19 students abstained.
OPIRG is a network of campus groups that advocate on social justice issues and are partially funded by a levy collected through the UTSU. UTSU Engineering Director Chris Dryden, the sole member of the ‘Yes’ committee, wrote an op-ed in The Varsity asking: what does OPIRG even do with $147k? Nooria Alam and Ben Swadron, members of the Vote ‘No’ to Save OPIRG campaign advocating committee, detailed what’s at stake for your $0.50 each term.