The Simon Fraser Student Society announced in a recent press release that they have decided not to proceed with the Fall 2016 semester after getting an estimate back on how much money they could save by cancelling the term.
They still plan on collecting money from students, but none of the services they offer will be available. SFU administration has announced their support for this project, saying they will be cancelling classes and not paying educators, but tuition will still be collected “for reasons.”
The press release, sent out via Twitter at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, cited that although the SFSS still supports the idea of higher education taking place at SFU this semester, it will take a backseat to cash money.
“Obviously, we would love to be able to offer students the complete post-secondary experience, but that just isn’t feasible with how badly we’ve managed our budget over the last few years,” the press release said. “Students should feel better knowing that their compliance with this could potentially help future students, but that’s not something we feel comfortable guaranteeing at this time.”
As pointed out in the press release, no one actually has to be enrolled in classes at SFU in order to be considered a student. This is a loophole known as “Deepak’s Law,” named in honour of Deepak Sharma, who didn’t enroll in classes upon being elected student president.
Suggestions have been made by the SFSS that the money should not go only towards balancing the books, but could be used for buying new furniture for the SFSS offices, or potentially even hiring enough staff to keep the Highland Pub open.
Students are livid by the lack of consultation with them about this, accusing the SFSS of a lack of transparency and accountability. The SFSS didn’t respond to this, because why would they?
Some students have even taken this one step further by suggesting they unionize and have some students represent the best interests of students to prevent situations like this from ever taking place. One student posted on Twitter suggesting “we should have some kind of student society, so that we have a voice at the table which makes all the decisions for us.”
At press time, it seems as though there should be an election for the president of this proposed student society, which could take place within the next couple of weeks at SFU.