FedS Referendum – To Be Represented or Not to Be?

If you’ve been anywhere on campus recently, you’ve seen the posters. At first, you may have thought they were unrelated, some of them talked about bad landlords, some of them about employee rights, but the more you saw them the more you realized the common theme: they’re all about legal representation. Closer inspection would have shown you that the posters are bringing your attention to the referendum on legal representation.

FedS is having a pretty active semester; there are the annual elections taking place, and there are two referendums for students to vote on at the same time. If you haven’t taken the time to read any of these posters or to look into what they’re all about, I can break it down for you. For more information on the FedS elections, check out the candidate information in this issue.

The first referendum we’re having is to do with legal representation. Like the student health and dental plan, this legal plan will be opt-out if you want. The decision is whether or not you think students should pay $30 per term to essentially keep a legal team on retainer for the students’ possible legal traumas in the areas of housing, employment, and academic discipline. Presumably, these are the legal woes most likely to affect your average student at a co-op university.

These lawyers will not be able to represent you if you get a speeding ticket or deal with citizenship paperwork, but there will be a useful hotline which you will be able to call to get advice and information about these topics and more. Before they brought this to the referendum which will soon appear in your email-box, FedS did a survey of students and received 513 responses. This may not seem like much considering Waterloo’s enrollment is more than 36,000 students, but it was enough to get the idea a spot on the next referendum ballot.

The second referendum asks who should have access to a GRT UPass (the privilege we pay for to get “free rides” on the GRT). FedS wants to know if students think that part-time students should also have access to the UPass system. It is not asking whether full-time students should have access, so for most students, this referendum will not affect you. However, taking notice of the issues at our school is still important and your voice can have weight if you choose.

More info on both referendums can be found on the FedS webpage.

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