College students see greater autonomy given to their student associations

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - A private member's bill entitled "College and University Student Associations Act, 2011" will be introduced today by Yasir Naqvi, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Ottawa Centre, which is co-signed by Rosario Marchese (NDP). The bill recognizes the autonomy of student associations (SA), and promotes collaboration between colleges and their respective SA by distinguishing their specific authorities. Students are pleased with this initiative as they pay hundreds of dollars each year in fees to their SAs to cover such items as student activities, health and dental, as well transportation.

"The College and University Student Associations Act is a step in the right direction to help colleges and SAs in Ontario maintain their responsibility to students," states Justin Fox, president of the College Student Alliance (CSA), "and students will benefit from the added cooperation between their SA and their college."

"Nearly a decade has passed since the CSA, formerly known as the Ontario Community College Student Parliamentary Association (OCCSPA) asked the Minister at the time, Minister Cunningham to legislate college student unions' right to exist in the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002. Today marks a great achievement for CSA, as the private member's bill furthers the autonomy of SAs in Ontario," replies Fox.

The proposed bill will not affect the current operation of college SAs; however it will place greater emphasis on governance, levying fees, and the administration of the funds.  Likewise, the bill notes the process in which the collection of fees must be followed, and how to proceed with the remittance of fees in order to protect students whose SAs do not have systems in place currently.

"Student associations are playing a greater role in the administration of fees specifically the expansion of college's infrastructure. The bill proposed will add greater responsibility to colleges and the student associations, but ensure the students voices remain top of mind for all parties involved especially when new fees are introduced," states Jim Robeson, Director of Advocacy for CSA.

The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and leadership organization, which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and college-university students since 1975. The CSA currently represents 17 colleges and 25 member councils with over 135,000 full-time student members throughout the province.

SOURCE College Student Alliance

For further information:

Justin Fox, President at 519-566-721 or president@collegestudentalliance.ca; or Jim Robeson, Director of Advocacy at 416-951-0181 or advocacy@collegestudentalliance.ca

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