January 12, 2012. OTTAWA, ON—This week, the CFS National Deputy Chairperson Shelly Melanson proposed a referendum question to the Carleton University Student’s Association (CUSA) which is creating a firestorm of controversy. The proposed question involves censoring certain groups: “Are you in favour of banning groups such as Lifeline, the Genocide Awareness Project, Campaign for Life Coalition and other organizations that use inaccurate information and violent images to discourage women from exploring all options in the event of pregnancy from Carleton University?”In addition to banning pro-lifers, the "union" also proposes banning all groups "that promote guns and gun violence" (want to open a student chapter of the National Firearms Association? Forget it!) and to force "a binding socially responsible investment policy" on Carleton University, that would require it to divest from a number of companies, blacklisted by the "union". Among other suggestions: a student levy hike to raise funds for a committee that sponsors refugee students and "a mandatory universal transit pass for full-time undergraduate students" at a prescribed price.
The question has been added to CUSA’s Write of Referenda for 2012, which indicates that the referenda will be held concurrently with the 2012 General Elections.
No, I'm not making this up. Apparently, the "student union" is planning a vote on a mandatory transit pass for all students - including those who have cars as well as those who live close enough to cycle or even walk to the campus. Not to mention, that they believe they can arbitrarily set the price of the transit pass (the actual cost of the OC Transpo Student Semester Pass is $255, not $180) and to limit annual price increases to some prescribed maximum. (Who, do they think, is going to pay the difference? The university? The government? Or maybe, the students themselves, through increased tuition?)
So, that's what these "student unions" are all about. Now, if the "student union" membership was made voluntary (on an "opt-in" base, rather than "opt-out") how many students would actually choose to rejoin this modern-day version of the Hitlerjugend?