Vote YES for the WUSC referendum
With the refugee crisis remaining in the media, campus communities around Canada have been taking up initiatives to support refugees. The amazing work that students and the university community have been engaged in is amazing and inspiring. But when this media focus shifts, we are going to inevitably shift our support to the latest cause. How are we moving past short-sighted support for millions of refugees not only located in Syria, but throughout the world in an ongoing way? This is the question that WUSC UBC — the World University Services Canada’s UBC Local Committee — has asked and found an answer to.
The WUSC Referendum question asks if you would like to double your Student Refugee Fund fee from $2.61 to $5.22, doubling support for refugee students coming to UBC and aiming to double the number of new refugee students from four to eight a year. Think about it. For the price of a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza, you can support eight human beings to come to the amazing country and university we live and study in. Additionally, the university has committed that if this fee increase passes, their support for residence and careers for these students will also increase.
Having worked closely with the Student Refugee Program, students this year and being a member of the WUSC local committee, I can tell you that these students have changed my life in the most important way. I have challenged myself to think about how fortunate I am while recognizing the resilience and strength of the Student Refugee Program students in Canada.
We need to go a step further and commit to long-term support for refugees, these amazing individuals who enrich our UBC community so much. I urge you to look into WUSC and to vote YES in the upcoming AMS referendum to double the number of refugee students we bring to UBC.
Originally published by UBCYSSEY, Feb. 29, 2016
Jenna Omassi is a former president of WUSC UBC, former AMS VP Academic and University Affairs, and a former presidential candidate in the 2016 AMS elections.