Resources student unions provide
Beginning this year, you have the option to opt-in, or out, of certain student fees. Here are just some of the many services that these fees pay for - and what you could potentially miss out on.
Be sure to support your student levy groups and access their services.
Access to resources
Did you know that many of the student levy groups on campus can provide you with access to resoures you may need? Legal services through your students’ union, OPIRG has a library covering a wide variety of topics, and can also lend you equipment, like a projector or button maker!
Opportunities for experience
Many student levy groups on campus provide to students job opportunities during the academic year. In addition, groups like campus media often provide valuable hands-on experience for undergrads!
Groups on your campus, like gender and equity centres, student unions, campus media, and other similar organizations are there to advocate on your behalf and ensure your time at university is a productive and fun one!
Bursaries & awards
Many levy groups set aside funds to support students financially. For example, OPIRG Carleton provides bursaries to students and ASSU at UofT administers over $20,000 in awards and bursaries! Check with groups on your campus!
Levy organizations on campus whose primary focus is academic often provide useful copies of previous course exams and can support you on academic appeals.
Access to free necessities
Most campuses in Ontario have at least one levy group that offers a “free store”. These stores offer students on campus an array of gently used small appliances, clothing, books, binders, and other useful items free of charge, saving you tons of money for other important things - like food and tuition!
On-campus levy groups, like the campus OPIRGS, and many students’ unions are often there to help us navigate a thorny issue we’re often not quite comfortable talking to the adults in our lives about.
What is the Student Choice Initiative?
The Student “Choice” Initiative (SCI) was introduced by Premier Doug Ford’s government in January 2019, rendering previously mandatory student fees that fund important organizations that contribute to student campus life to be paid on an optional and voluntary basis. As a result of this policy, many important student services run by levy groups may have to shut down (see reverse side).
What is a “levy group”?
In short, a levy group is an organization on campus, normally run by students, that provides services and support to members of the campus community for a small fee each academic year. All levy groups exist as a result of successfully passing a student referendum on their campus. Many levy groups have employees who are unionized with CUPE 1281.
Who cares, though? I paid my tuition. Doesn’t the University provide these services?
Not really. Universities definitely provide some services, like access to a Health Care Centre on campus, but they’re not going to help you with many of the services covered by levy groups (see reverse). In addition, keep in mind that the government has imposed a 10% tuition reduction and is not making up for the loss of funding. As a result, universities now have less revenue to provide students with the services they need. This makes our levy groups even more critical!
How can I support the levy groups on my campus?
You can likely guess what our first suggestion will be - choose to pay your levy fees and ensure access to those services! You can also let your university’s adminisratration know that you support student levy groups and the services and experiences they provide! You may also want to contact your local MPP to express support for vital campus student services.