Media Advisory – September 26, 2016

farrah_digital_screen_ad

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.

-30-

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.

-30-

MEDIA CONTACTS:

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

JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT TO UVSS MEMBERS

Last week, a matter came to the attention of the UVSS Elections Office and the University of Victoria Students’ Society (“UVSS”) that we would like to address in the following joint statement.

An unknown individual, likely through the use of an online simulator, fabricated a conversation on Facebook. The forged conversation purported to be between an unnamed student and a UVSS board member candidate. The Martlet reports that an unnamed student provided the Martlet with the screenshots on February 29 at 2:31am.

A professional graphic designer has conducted an analysis of the screenshots and has stated with full confidence that the screenshots were faked. According to the Martlet, the individual was unable and/or refused to provide proof that the screenshots were authentic and has also since deleted the Facebook account they used to correspond with the Martlet.

The UVSS and the UVSS Elections Office are concerned for the integrity of the elections process. Forged communications go beyond any definition of acceptable conduct during student elections, and elections in general. Such an act goes against the Electoral Policy Manual, specifically 5.8.4 Defamation, and 5.8.5 Libel, which are both listed as disqualifiable offences.

Statements by UVSS Directors and Officers, in some circumstances, may create liability for the UVSS. Misstatements wrongly attributed to a candidate can have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on a candidate’s future career opportunities and reputation.

UVSS elections are structured to be a positive experience for all candidates and to provide an opportunity to participate in our campus community. No candidate’s future career should be placed in jeopardy because of their involvement with the elections process. The UVSS Elections Office and the University of Victoria Students’ Society strongly condemns fraudulent attacks on any candidate made on a demonstrably fraudulent premise.

We hope that no further acts of this kind are perpetrated against any candidate during future elections, and we will continue to stand for fair, open, impartial, inclusive, and democratic student elections at the University of Victoria.

Sincerely,

Emma Hamill – Chief Electoral Officer, UVSS Elections
Solenn Madevon – Electoral Committee Chair, UVSS Board of Directors

UVic and Camosun students deliver thousands of postcards to VRTC and BC Transit asking for expanded late-night bus service

Victoria – Today UVic and Camosun students delivered 2,200 postcards to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) calling on the Commission and BC Transit to expand late-night bus service.

“Since the Transit Commission launched a limited late-night bus service six years ago, this program has seen enormous success and has experienced a large spike in ridership,” said UVSS Director of External Relations Kenya Rogers. “Although public transit users are very positive about this service, it doesn’t go far enough and the time has come to expand the service to meet demand. That’s why students are asking for one more day and one more hour.”

Late-night bus service is an affordable mode of transportation that increases safety, especially for women, and it decreases instances of drunk driving. Programs like this are good not only for those who want to enjoy an evening downtown, but are also good for those who work downtown and need to get home after a long night at work. Students are asking for asking for late-night transit to start on Thursdays and have the last buses leave at 2:30am.

“With the consistent government funding cuts to post-secondary education, almost all students will have to find part-time employment in order to pay tuition and basic living costs at some point during their program. But many of the industries student find part-time work in have shifts that end after the last available bus service, like serving and bartending,” said CCSS External Executive Andrea Eggenberger. “When students have to put two or more hours of paid work towards a taxi, they require several more shifts a week just to make ends meet. At this point, students have little or no time to study, and education has simply become unaffordable.”

Students are major stakeholders in Greater Victoria’s public transit system. The UVic and Camosun student societies represent over 36,000 student members – the largest ridership demographic and stakeholder in the Capital Region. Through the U-PASS (Universal Bus Pass), UVic and Camosun students contribute $5.4 million to public transit annually, which brings millions of stable, dedicated dollars every year to BC Transit’s budget.

MORE INFO:

Check out our videos of students reading out postcards at the UVic Transit Exchange!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA_HbSaV1Os

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0tZ2qaYHag

https://www.facebook.com/maketransitwork/?ref=hl

The University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) and the Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) represent 36,000 undergraduate students in Victoria, BC. Together, along with Unifor 333 (Greater Victoria Bus Drivers Union), they are founding members of The Make Transit Work Coalition.

-30-