We all know that the best parts of McGill aren’t in class: they’re the communities you become a part of, the groups you join, the awesome events you attend, and seeing the result of the incredible extra-curricular work that the students around us do all the time. Most campus groups are able to exist because, year after year, students decide that it is important to fund them, ensuring that campus clubs, groups, and organizations have all the support they need to make our campus and Montreal an even more amazing place. The organizations that make up Our Campus, Our Community are all funded and run by students; their fees are also opt-outable. Our Campus, Our Community’s goal is to make sure that everyone knows how amazing these groups are, how much they do for life at McGill, and why you should continue to support them.
So, what is the problem with the Minerva On-Line Opt-Out System anyway?
It is a slow drain on finances.
Regardless of how much outreach, promotion, and awareness-building individual groups do to inform students about what they do, opting out online is a convenient option that many students choose without actually getting informed about the fee-levy groups, such as those that make up Our Campus, Our Community. For groups affected, it is unmanageable to provide the same services, let alone grow or increase activity and campus presence, when your financial resources are shrinking.
It undermines student democracy
Students voted in referenda to have these services on campus. The services are to be available to all students with the understanding that not all students would be using them. Students wanted these sorts of activities and services to be part of their diverse campus life and experience. Online opt outs turn these fees into user fees. They decrease the ability of the groups to provide the services students voted to have on campus.
It undermines the referenda
Student groups affected by online opt outs are campaigning for their fees each semester. There are no rules for this campaign and in the past it has gotten nasty. Do you really want your student groups to be in election mode EVERY semester?
Students are opting out of everything
Stats have shown that most students are opting out of all fees available to them on Minerva. The system was put in place to make it convenient for students to opt out of student activities that they chose not to support. This system makes it very difficult for informed consent. We believe most students are looking at it as an opportunity to save money and not considering the merit of each organization.
You pay a lot of student fees but can only opt out of a few of them
Only certain student fees are opt–outable. Students are paying extra for activities which, some would argue, should be supported by tuition ~ they do not have the option to opt out of those fees.