CFS sends campaigners to BC colleges
As a response to student unions in open rebellion, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) sent two professional campaigners to colleges in British Columbia this month. After several years of infighting in the CFS, British Columbia schools have begun the long and difficult process of removing themselves from the national group. Several schools have already submitted petitions to the CFS to hold a vote so that they can leave, with more on the way.
Campaigners arrive at Selkirk College unnanounced
The Selkirk College Students’ Union (SCSU) submitted a petition to leave the CFS (part of the official process) in December 2016. Kavy Kaur of the Selkirk College Students’ Union told The Western Student that CFS campaigners then arrived on campus unannounced and refused to answer questions.
“The two were CFS National Treasurer Peyton Veitch and CFS National Deputy Chairperson Anne-Marie Roy,” said Kaur. “Students reported that the two dressed as students and tried to get them to sign petitions. Students reported that the CFS representatives were deceptive and lied about our students’ union’s campaigns.”
Kaur said that the SCSU has been fighting to get the CFS to verify the petition and hold a vote.
“We were not informed about the CFS coming to campus and they refused to discuss our concerns when approached. Although more than 25 percent of students signed the petition, which only requires 15 percent of students, the CFS has yet to set dates. It is the view of our Executive Committee that the CFS’s actions have been extremely aggressive, especially since they have not satisfactorily addressed our concerns,” said Kaur.
Meeting with Okanagan College Students’ Union
[Okanagan College students petitioning to leave the CFS. Photo from Instagram.]
After spending time at Selkirk College, the two CFS campaigners went to Okanagan College. While they arrived unannounced and began talking to students without telling Okanagan College or the Okanagan College Students’ Union (OCSU), they did meet with the students’ union when they were caught.
Okanagan College Students’ Union representatives met with the CFS National Treasurer Peyton Veitch and National Deputy Chairperson Anne-Marie Roy. The meeting covered the OCSU petition to leave the CFS and letters that BC students had sent the CFS about ongoing problems. After the meeting, OCSU sent two letters condemning the CFS to a list of student associations from every province.
A request for comment was sent to the Canadian Federation of Students but The Western Student received no response.