Students support measure to protect students' union autonomy

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - Students welcome legislation tabled today that will formally recognize college and university students' unions' legal right to exist as autonomous organizations from their respective administrations. Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi and New Democratic Party MPP Rosario Marchese tabled the legislation today, which is the result of a long-standing campaign waged by the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

"For decades, students have been advocating for legal protection for students' unions to entrench their ability to serve their members on campuses," said Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Such legislation would clarify the relationship between students' unions and institutional administrations and stop disputes that may arise from threatening the operations of college and university students' unions."

Students' unions are autonomous from their institutions but a lack of legal protections have lead to conflicts over fee remittance and other threats to students' union autonomy. Students anticipate that this legislation will provide guidelines that will help to minimize conflict and promote cooperation between university and college administrations and students.

"Legislation that will allow us to work with our administration without any threats to our autonomy is critical to ensuring that we can properly represent students on our campus," said Vanessa Hunt, President-elect of the York Federation of Students. "This Private Member's Bill is a great first step in the process and students are calling on all Members of Provincial Parliament to support it."

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students, represented by 37 students' unions at post-secondary institutions in all regions of Ontario.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Sandy Hudson, Chairperson: 416-925-3825 or 416-722-8842 (cell)
Nora Loreto, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator: 416-925-3825 or 416-846-6672 (cell)


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