Keep Student Jobs: Save Our Non-Profit

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Keep Student Jobs: Save Our Non-Profit

This petition had 260 supporters
VIPIRG started this petition to University of Victoria Students' Society Board (University of Victoria Students' Society)

We are the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG). Like our name suggests we do research in the public interest. In YOUR interest. About your city, your food and your environment. We have been a UVic based non-profit organization since 1983. We’re the only community based research group with secure funding on the island (and one of the few in Canada), working for students interests and advocating for the environment.

The UVSS Board does not think this work is good enough and passed a motion on December 5 that would take away our funding!  

 We find this quite ridiculous because we believe we do good work for ALL students.  

Did you know that?

  • Our lobbying led to the establishment of a recycling program on campus?
  • VIPIRG funding was used to provide free grocery staples to students in 1994 (and afterwards), before the establishment of the UVic Food Bank?
  • Our research was the basis for the establishment of a free community dental clinic?
  • Because of VIPIRG, students get course credit for doing research for community groups
  • We contributed to completing a sustainability assessment of UVic

We were not consulted. Neither was the food bank or any other group that stands to benefit from this (FYI we asked and they’re with us!). This is completely secretive and disingenuous for a UVSS board that prides themselves in transparency and accountability.

Here’s where your $3 goes (BTW you can opt out):

  1. Wages ($94,000): Every year VIPIRG hires 7 UVic students. Only 1 staff works full-time. If we lose our funding, all these jobs get cut.
  2.  Community Grants & Special Donations ($33,000): We’ve spent our operating surplus supporting dozens of student led projects every year. Everything from workshops to educational campaigns. We also support organizations such as PEERS (safer sex work & harm reduction), Yes2SCS. Community Action Bus, Unistoten Camp, Divest UVIC, VIRCS, Victoria Cool Aid Society and more!
  3. Research & Events ($15,000): Our research is used by individuals and organizations across the country. We have numerous events throughout the year. Our annual conference is attended by the public and hundreds of students. Our speakers are community members, UVic students and professors. Every semester we host a pancake breakfast, with toppings, ice cream and fruit. Just last week, we spent 4 hours in the freezing cold serving over 300 pancakes to the campus community.
  4. Accessibility ($2000): We provide discounted bus tickets to advocacy groups and UNI 101. We also provide free bus tickets to street involved people. 
  5. Our library ($1500): We’ve got the newest books, and super old reports and journal articles you can’t find anywhere else on campus. We promise!

Why is this happening, you ask?

We believe it’s because VIPIRG supported opposing candidates of the UVSS board in the last elections. They’re trying to make sure our doors are closed so this does not happen again. We also think this is a distraction from a potential referendum to tie your student fees to inflation but your guess is as good as ours!

I’m sure you’ll agree that the work we do has real life impact that goes far beyond UVSS politics.  

 Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Sign and share this petition.
  2. Contact the UVSS Executives to let them know that you don’t support this move!
  3. Show up to UVSS board meeting happening in the SUB Upper Lounge at 6pm on December 12. 
  4. Stop by our office (SUB B122) and say hi. We’ll have hot chocolate and snacks all week.

Thanks for having our back since 1983. We promise we'll continue to have yours




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