A statement regarding TERFs

It has come to the attention of the UVSS Board of Directors that in recent weeks, trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) have been targeting and harassing members of our community. Such behaviors must not be tolerated on our campus, and in society as a whole.

The Board of Directors condemns the horrid actions of the TERFs. Discrimination toward members of traditionally marginalized groups and harassment, in general, are never acceptable. It is important that we stand behind our members, and that we do our best to ensure that the Student Union Building and our Campus as a whole are safe for our members and for all members of the University community.

We hope that those negatively affected by the actions of TERFs benefit from the knowledge that the UVSS completely supports them and that we will do all that we can to ensure their safety and comfort.

Sincerely,

The UVSS Executive Team

UVic students commend BC Government for lowering interest rates on student loans

Victoria – Students across BC celebrated a huge win yesterday when Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced in the budget speech that the BC Government will lower the interest rate on student loans. Effective August 1, 2017, the interest rate on student loans will be reduced from prime plus 2.5% to prime only. Years of coordinated lobbying efforts by BC’s post-secondary students has resulted in a win that improves affordability for students.

“UVic students applaud the BC Government for reducing student loan interest and the burden of student debt,” said UVSS Director of Campaigns and Community Relations Maxwell Nicholson. “Working with other student unions across BC to make the student voice heard can pay huge dividends.”

A recent survey of students at 10 post-secondary institutions across BC conducted by Insights West in collaboration with the Alma Mater Society shows that 38% of students have taken out student loans. These students leave school with an average student loan burden of just over $27,000. Reducing the interest rate on these loans makes it easier for students to transition from university to their careers, allowing graduates to save and invest without the burden of high interest rates.

“While students at UVic are excited by the reduction in interest rates, there are still many student issues that were not addressed in the 2017 BC Budget,” said Nicholson. “There is a pressing need for access to affordable on-campus housing, core-funding increases for essential support services, and a comprehensive needs-based grants program.”

In the run up to the May 2017 provincial election, the UVSS will continue to work with other student unions in BC to advocate for post-secondary issues and to encourage youth voter participation. The UVSS will be launching the Count On Our Vote campaign in the coming weeks.

The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) was established in 1964 and represents the 18,000 undergraduate students at the University of Victoria.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Maxwell Nicholson
UVSS Director of Campaigns & Community Relations
campaigns@uvss.ca, 250-721-8366

Media Advisory – September 26, 2016

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UVic students set to host counsellor, educator, and artist Farrah Khan as a part of Sexualized Violence Awareness Month

Victoria – This Wednesday, the UVic Students’ Society (UVSS), Anti-Violence Project (AVP), and UVic will be co-hosting “We Begin By Listening” – a keynote presentation by Farrah Khan. Khan is nationally recognized counsellor, educator and artist with over 16 years of experience addressing gender-based violence.

Who:    Farrah Khan, Ann-Bernice Thomas, and Jeremy Loveday

What:   “We Begin By Listening” keynote presentation on sexualized violence

When:  Wednesday September 28, 2016. 6:30pm.

Where: UVic Farquhar Auditorium

This keynote presentation is a part of Sexualized Violence Awareness Month and the Let’s Get Consensualcampaign. Join us as we work towards making our campus free of harm and shifting our culture to one of consent.

More info:

Web:
https://www.antiviolenceproject.org/svaw/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/690871104412689/
https://www.facebook.com/getconsent

The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) was established in 1964 and represents the 17,000 undergraduate students at the University of Victoria. Let’s Get Consensual is a campaign against the prevalence of rape culture and sexualized violence on campuses organized by AVP, UVSS, UVic, and partner organizations across British Columbia.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Maxwell Nicholson
UVSS Director of Campaigns & Community Relations
campaigns@uvss.ca, 250-721-8366

Free textbook adopted by Earth & Ocean Sciences course at UVic

Free textbook adopted by Earth & Ocean Sciences course at UVic
Students continue to advocate for more open educational resources

Victoria – As the UVic Students’ Society gets set to launch its textbook affordability campaign ‘TextbookBroke’ in September, some faculty at UVic are already moving forward to adopt free textbooks for their courses. Earth and Ocean Sciences 120 recently switched from a printed textbook worth $123.50 to a free online textbook offered through BCcampus’ Open Textbook Project.

“The adoption of Open Education Resources (OER) is a great step forward for students at UVic,” said UVSS Director of Campaigns Maxwell Nicholson.  “If more colleges and universities throw their weight behind the BC Open Textbook Project and we see wider adoption, this has the potential to make education more affordable for students who are burdened by high debt, expensive course materials, and an extremely tight rental market.“

Textbook affordability has reached a crisis point. Prices have risen three times the rate of inflation since 1970. Textbooks can be up to 50% of the total cost of a university course. For students in EOS 120, the BC Open textbook could collectively save them up to $12,473.50 a year. Students at SImon Fraser and UBC have already seen many open textbook adoptions at their campuses and they are actively pushing for more.

“I’ve heard stories of first year students choosing courses based on how expensive the textbook is, or whether they will really need it for the course,” said UVic Earth and Ocean Sciences professor Lucinda Leonard. “We’d like to remove any obstacle to students being introduced to earth, ocean & atmospheric sciences.”

Over the coming year, the UVSS will continue to advocate for the adoption of more free open textbooks at UVic through ‘TextbookBroke’, a campaign run in partnership with the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and the Alma Mater Society of UBC (AMS).

The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) was established in 1964 and represents the 17,000 undergraduate students at the University of Victoria.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Maxwell Nicholson
UVSS Director of Campaigns & Community Relations
campaigns@uvss.ca, 250-721-8366