From Nov. 12-14, Concordia students will be able to cast their vote for or against online opt-outs for fee levies. Let’s break down what that means.
At its core, a fee levy is a small amount of money charged to students on a per-credit basis, which go back into providing essential student services. According to the Concordia Student Union (CSU), fee levy groups on campus receive either all or part of their annual operating budgets from per-credit fee levies.
Some of these groups include, but aren’t limited to: the Centre for Gender Advocacy, the People’s Potatoes, QPIRG, the Concordia Co-op Bookstore, Cinema Politica, CJLO, The Concordian and The Link, as well as the Concordia Food Coalition, Sustainable Concordia, the Concordia Greenhouse and so, so many more incredible groups on campus.
Students have always had the opportunity to opt-out of these services, but they have had to do so in person. This system affords groups the opportunity to explain their services to these individuals before they move forward with opting out. Online opt-outs would facilitate blind decisions to save a few bucks without understanding how important these services are to students across the university.
Many fee levy groups directly address important aspects of student life, and many groups have developed deep relationships with the student body. Groups like the People’s Potato and the Hive Cafe Solidarity Co-Operative provide hundreds of free lunches to students on both campuses. The Center for Gender Advocacy offer trans health resources and confidential peer support. We like to believe that student media groups such as ourselves help the Concordia community as well by reporting on all aspects of the university and holding the school accountable.
We at The Concordian strongly oppose online opt-outs, and we stand alongside all other fee-levy groups on campus, as many of us use their services on a regular basis. We urge students to vote no to online opt outs, not simply because we would not be able to exist as an organization without fee levies, but because the push for online opt-outs coincides with a significant increase to the athletic fee levy, which students cannot opt out of in any way.
This paints a clear picture of which services are valued by the university. We, on the other hand, believe every one of these groups holds value and deserves to be protected.