CFS believes in education
I would like to elaborate on the matter of membership in the Canadian Federation of Students.
To begin, I would like to clarify that the Federation is Canadas only national and provincial student organization. That is, no other organization in the country represents all types of post-secondary students both nationally and provincially. The Federation was founded in 1981 when student representatives recognized that it was important to operate on both levels, simultaneously and in tandem. Today, the Federation is Canada's largest student organization.
Joining the Federation is straightforward and democratic. First, a given students union makes the decision to join as a trial member. The decision to experience trial membership entails a commitment to put the matter of full membership to a vote of the entire student population when that membership expires. The majority vote rules.
Similarly, a referendum to de-federate is required. This simple process ensures that a tiny minority of individuals does not make a decision as significant as national-provincial affiliation for everybody else.
Finally, let me confirm that, indeed, the goals of the Federation are unlike those of other umbrella student organizations. The Federation was founded on the principle that education is a right, not a privilege. Thus, unlike certain other student organizations, the Federation has never supported tuition fee increases or income-contingent loan repayment schemes.
Perhaps those other student organizations would realize the profound inequity of such measures if they spent less time concerning themselves with the state of the Federation's membership, and began working co-operatively with the 70 student associations that comprise the Federation.
Hons. BA Sociology, Western 1998
Ontario National Executive Representative
Canadian Federation of Students