UVSS Statement – Trudeau x UVic Budget Visit

On April 19th, we posted on our story voicing concerns regarding the visit from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, highlighting the 2024 Federal Budget. The press conference and subsequent Q&A session was held in the Center for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) on campus. We were not made aware of this event, as neither the Prime Minister nor the President’s Office communicated this visit to the UVic Students’ Society.

This visit to campus lacked significant student representation; no student organizations were present, and the students who were there were given limited time to prepare. Considering the impact of the Federal Budget on post-secondary students, this deliberate exclusion from important discussions and opportunities is unacceptable. Who better to advocate for student issues than students themselves?

The significance of this oversight is glaring and part of a consistent pattern of ignoring students’ concerns, especially in regards to divestment, international student fees, and the shuttering of McKinnon gym. We listened when you promised us a “culture of courage, trust, curiosity and flexibility” as a part of UVic’s 2023 Strategic Plan titled “Distinctly UVic.” So, while UVic can articulate in official documents their desire to hear from students, their actions consistently demonstrate a disregard for our authentic voices and open dialogue. As students, it’s clear that what is truly “Distinctly UVic” is the consistent choice to exclude students from decision-making.

We ask that UVic notifies the UVSS of any meetings with government officials, with a minimum 24 hours notice, or as soon as reasonably possible.

UVic, student voices matter! No student input, no visit!

In solidarity,
UVSS Board of Directors