SA closed June 21-22

The Student Association’s offices and services will be closed on Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22 as our staff conduct professional development and training in order to serve students better.

We will open again as normal on Monday, June 25.

Thank you for understanding and sorry for any inconvenience.

College students and the Ontario election


Arnel Fleurant

Director of education

 
I have found this upcoming election to be hard for me as student and as a voting member. The parties and candidates have not made it easy to see what is clear and what their true intentions are. As a college student and board member at my student union, it is very important to me that we have a government in place that cares about students and the services they need to be successful in their academic careers. Colleges across the province are underfunded and unfortunately dwindles every year. Teachers are unhappy with this situation, the way they are paid and the lack of tools and resources they need to be successful at their jobs.

Students and teachers entrust their institutions with their education, futures and livelihoods but what they get back is outdated courses and outdated learning and testing methods and precarious working conditions. These stress out both students and teachers as course curriculums don’t work for either the students or the teachers delivering it.

The current state of college institutions is very flawed and needs to be changed. The post-secondary school system doesn’t seem to be a priority has become expendable to the government which is why cuts to education always seem to be the easiest and the first idea to come to their mind.

This can change and we have the power to change this through the people we choose to elect. People that will take responsibility for the things impacting our community and our students who are supposed to be the future.  This is why it is important for all of us as students to take part in this election and speak up for what we care for. Voting in the right candidate who supports good post-secondary education policies is highly important and I hope all students take part in this election as our futures are on the line.

SA offices closed Friday and Monday

Sorry, our offices are closed Friday as our staff train to serve you better. We are also closed on Monday due to the Victoria Day holiday. We will be open again on Tuesday, May 22. Have a great long weekend!

 

SA Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Lunch provided at 1 p.m.)
George Brown College
Kings Lounge,
St. James A Building, room 150

200 King St. East, Toronto, ON M5A 3W8

The Student Association of George Brown College (SA) invites all full-time students—SA members—to participate in our Annual General Meeting.

The Annual General meeting package with motions, proxy forms, and proposed changes to the bylaws will be available for pickup at all Student Association front offices during regular office hours.

Please join us, and learn more about your Student Association.

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Lunch provided at 1 p.m.) George Brown College Kings Lounge, St. James A Building, room 150 200 King St. East, Toronto, ON M5A 3W8 The Student Association of George Brown College (SA) invites all full-time students—SA members—to participate in our Annual General Meeting. The Annual General meeting package with motions, proxy forms, and proposed changes to the bylaws will be available for pickup at all Student Association front offices during regular office hours. Please join us, and learn more about your Student Association.

Ontario College Student Support Fund – Student Support Fund is Insufficient

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, November 30, 2017 – Student Support Fund is Insufficient

TO: All media
RE: Ontario College Student Support Fund – Student Support Fund is Insufficient
FROM: Niagara College Student Administrative Council, Fanshawe Student Union, Sheridan Student Union, Georgian College Students’ Association, St. Lawrence College Cornwall Student Union, Seneca Student Federation, St. Clair Student Representative Council, Student Association George Brown College

The dust has now settled on the longest strike in the history of the Ontario College System, yet
students are still left in the dark as they attempt to access the Student Support Fund; formerly the
“Student Hardship Fund.”

Student associations across the province are asking the Government to reconsider the current
structure of the fund, as the allocated funds are insufficient. The fund will reimburse a select few
groups on campus and the ministry guidelines leaves colleges to decide what constitutes a strike
expense, ultimately leaving most students unrecognized for their hardship.

On November 20th, the Honourable Minister Matthews and the Ontario Liberals announced that a
“hardship fund” would be created for students “who experienced financial hardship as a result of the
strike.” The overall estimated, gross savings across the province was approximately $135M on the
conservative side. The fund is comprised of the colleges’ net savings from the estimated $135M, but
according to the Minister it will diminish to approximately $5M once the strike expenses of the
colleges are submitted. How can this be the case? Ministry instructions in regards to college expenses
that can be charged to this gross savings, are extremely vague, but include lost revenues, tuition
reimbursements and “added expenses caused by the strike.”

The fund is designed to reimburse students up to $500 for “incremental expenses” due to the
semesters being extended. Currently, the following students qualify for funding:

  • Students who can prove incremental childcare costs during the weeks of December 18-22, January 2-5 and April 23-27.
  • Students scheduled to graduate in December will be permitted to claim January’s rent.
  • Students incurring incremental transit costs due to extended semesters.
  • Students who rescheduled their travel plans due to the strike.

Students across the province are outraged that this fund does not acknowledge the financial
hardship of students will suffer lost wages over the Holiday Break or the over 15 days of lost class
time.

It is imperative that the Government create clear directions to the colleges as to what constitutes net
savings, as to not completely deplete the fund before students get access.

The collective student associations are asking that the Government add funding in order to aid in
the disbursement of $500 to all full-time students of all 24 Ontario colleges. All students have
experienced a financial hardship and are thus entitled to a fair and equal amount.

Student associations from across the province will continue to ensure that the student voice is
represented, and that Government and College administrations are held accountable. Minister
Matthews has continually mentioned that she “has heard from students about the hardships they
have experienced as a result of the strike.” It is time to recognize those hardships and to reform the
Student Support Fund to a format that is all encompassing, and not situationally discriminatory.

QUOTES:

Questions to Presidents:

1. What action would you like the MAESD to take in regards to amending the
fund?

“I would like to see the MAESD remove some restrictions around incremental costs and
open the opportunity for all students who have experienced hardship to access this fund. If
the MAESD is worried about the net savings being insufficient for all students, mandate the
colleges to budget a refund amount per student, rather than relying on what net savings
may amount to. Help invest in our students.”
Ryan Huckla – President, Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC)

“It is the stance of our Federation that all full-time students should receive $500.00 or an allotted
amount from the Fund. Additionally, students who have experienced a greater loss should then
have the opportunity to apply for reimbursement through a regulated process. The current
application process cannot accurately compensate students for the time wasted as well as the
immense stress for those student trying to complete their fall semester.”
LéNea Richardson – Acting President, Seneca Student Federation

2. What do you feel is the biggest deficiency in the structure of this fund?

“The biggest deficiency is fair equity for all students affected by the strike, and this speaks to the
last point where there shouldn’t be any proof needed for that baseline disbursement. There is
also the lack of clarity of the fund and how colleges are casting their expenses against the fund.”
Enrique Ponce – President, Sheridan College Student Union Inc.

“The Ministry says each student can apply for up to $500 after they “prove their hardship” yet we
are told there is only about $5M in net Hardship funds available. For that math to work, only
10,000 students can access the maximum allowable amount which is less than 5% of the full time
students in the Province. This is a system full of inherent barriers to students. That math does not
work for me. All students, at all colleges, deserve fair and equal treatment, hence we are are
requesting the funds to support that. It would be a more efficient use of public administration
money to have 24 Colleges submit strike expenses to the Ministry rather than 250,000 students
required to submit the explanations of their hardships to their College.“
Morganna Sampson – President, Fanshawe Student Union

“The lack of acknowledgement of student’s mental health, and other hardships during
the strike. Also ignoring that many students had plans of working over the holiday
break, but instead now have to be in school. This causes more financial hardship
during an already financially stressful time.”
Ryan Huckla – President, Niagara College Student Administrative Council

“The Ministry has been putting up the facade that they are really looking out for our students but
refuse to provide adequate compensation to all students affected. All student circumstances are
unique. Therefore, students should be entitiled to an allotted amount without having to endure
further duress of this application process. After five long weeks, they are entitled to be treated fairly
and equitably. Please remember that these are not just our students. These are your students . They
deserve better and on their behalf we urge you to do better.”
LéNea Richardson – Acting President, Seneca Student Federation

QUICK FACTS:

  • The MAESD announced the Student Support Fund on Monday, November 20th and gave
    colleges five days to develop protocol around the fund “in conjunction with students.”
  • The estimated gross savings from faculty wages to the college is $135M
  • $90,000 average salary + 30% remittances savings x 12,000 faculty x 5 weeks = $135M
  • The estimated amount of the fund as announced by the ministry is $5M, although total
    gross savings or expenses cannot be provided by the ministry or colleges at this time.
  • Colleges will be permitted to claim loss revenues as a result of the strike, but students
    are not permitted to claim loss wages they would have earned during the extended
    semesters.

 

CONTACTS:

Ryan Huckla – President, Niagara College Student Administrative Council
289-213-7965
sacpres@niagaracollege.ca

Enrique Ponce – President, Sheridan Student Union Inc.
905-845-9430 ext 2301
enrique.ponce@sheridancollege.ca

Morganna Sampson – President, Fanshawe Student Union
519-452-4109 ext. 6314
m_sampson2@fanshawec.ca

LéNea Richardson – Acting President, Seneca Student Federation
416-491-5050 ext 22984
lenea.richardson@senecacollege.ca

Avery Konda – President, Georgian College Students’ Association
705.728.1968, ext. 5286
Avery.Konda@GeorgianCollege.ca

Erika Randolph – President, St. Lawrence College Cornwall Student Union
613-933-6080 ext 2204
cmadlin@sl.on.ca

Nick Goran – President, St. Clair Student Representative Council
519-972-2727 x. 4524
srcpresident@stclaircollege.ca

Mercedes Burrowes – Director of Campus Life, Student Association George Brown College
416.415.5000 ext. 6978
dircampuslife@sagbc.ca

Download press release as a pdf