A Message from CUPE Local 3902, University of Toronto to students, administration and the U. of T. community

Dear friends and colleagues,

In a few weeks’ time, many of us will be prompted by the administration to opt out of fees for groups which provide critical services for us and our students when we enroll for the coming year. We are asking you to just say NOO—No Opting Out!—because everybody benefits from the vital work they do.

Without funding, Students for Barrier Free Access will be unable to keep up the fight to make our campuses more accessible. This includes a loss of capacity to represent disabled students who are facing physical, informational, attitudinal and financial barriers to accessing education at the university and to push for changes which make campus more accessible for everyone.

OPIRG will be restrained in their ability to research and to create resource guides and supports on issues such as police brutality and reproductive health/justice, to run frontline services like their Free Market where they provide free gently used clothing and kitchenwares for low- income and struggling students, and to take action on a significant range of social and environmental justice issues, which is all the more important with the Ford government running Queen’s Park.

The Centre for Women and Trans People will be unable to continue its work towards gender equity on campus, offering free resources and services for all students including a community cupboard/food bank, a social justice library, sexual health resources, accessible meeting space, programming (community cooking, events, workshops, training, peer-support program, referrals) and advocacy centering women, non-binary, trans and Two Spirit people and those who have been systematically marginalized.

Other organizations whose critical services are threatened by opt-outs include the Sexual Education Centre, LGBTOUT, Bike Chain, the Environmental Research Network, and your graduate or undergraduate student union.

All students are automatically set to opt in. So, to say no to opting out, simply don’t select opt-out on ACORN, but do encourage 10 of your fellow students to do the same. By not opting out, you will be saying that this university should serve everybody.

Lastly, undergraduate students will especially bear the brunt now that OSAP cuts have been announced, revealing Ford’s tactics to be the bait-and-switch that they are. For the price of removing a couple of hundred of dollars from funding important services, students will pay thousands in loan and interest payments.

For more information on the above-mentioned groups, see the following: