Student Federation of the University of Ottawa
|Institution||University of Ottawa|
|Established||1969; originally 1939|
|Vice presidents||David Eaton, Ikram Hamoud, Nicole Desnoyers, Christopher Hynes, Pat Marquis|
The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (also known as The SFUO or The Fed) is the official student-federated union of the University of Ottawa. It is a not-for-profit organization, incorporated under the Corporations' Act of Ontario since September 1, 1969. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa is a bilingual entity, and is also known as the "Fédération Étudiante de l'Université d'Ottawa."
The SFUO's stated goals are as follows:
- to regroup all undergraduate students of the University of Ottawa in a democratic and cooperative organization where we can advance our own interests and those of our community;
- to take active part in the university community, in all processes and decision making bodies that concern student life;
- to establish a framework whereby its members can share experiences, skills and ideas, communicate, exchange information and debate;
- to assure the distribution and efficient utilization of the student funds, according to the students' will;
- to facilitate cooperation among students in organizing services which supplement academic experience, provide for our human needs and develop a sense of community with our peers and other members of society;
- to achieve a system of post-secondary education which is accessible to all, which is of high quality, which recognizes the legitimacy of student representation and validity of student rights and whose role in society is recognized and appreciated.
Accordingly, the SFUO describes its role in its constitution as the "instrument of political action of the undergraduate student population".
According to auditors Deloitte & Touche, the Student Federation collected $3,852,475 from all 31,331 registered students alone during the 2008 session. A breakdown of the SFUO levies (services, initiatives and more) can be found on the University of Ottawa's Registrar Page. The executives have a salary of $30,000 (adjusted for inflation), and also covers the cost of up to 2 courses per semester as well as cell phone costs.
The SFUO currently owns four student run businesses:
A convenience store located in the University Centre, which sells an assortment of snack foods, groceries, magazines and some school supplies. It has a new coffee and sandwiches section as well as an organic section.
The Agora Bookstore
The Agora Bookstore and Internet Cafe was created in 1999 by the SFUO to provide students with a lower cost textbook source than the campus store, which is run by the Follett Corporation, a large American textbook retailer. It also has a consignment store for students to resell their books. In 2006, students voted in a referendum to maintain a levy $9 per full-time student per semester to subsidize the Agora. While the Agora is not allowed to sell textbooks on campus, it is located only a few blocks away on Besserer Street, making its location accessible and convenient for most students.
Between the period of 1981 to 2000, the SFUO owned and operated a bar located within the University Centre called "The NOX". It was closed after generating significant deficits in the last few years of operation, although it had been extreme successful financially during its first decade of operation. The SFUO briefly opened a bar called The Universe City Lounge above the Agora Bookstore. Universe City was closed after one year of operation. In 2006, the SFUO opened a student bar called 1848 in the University Centre. The bar is gaining popularity, especially as a Tuesday and Wednesday night hang-out. The word about 1848 is spreading quickly since management established "Toonie Tuesdays" and "Wednesday Night Recess". On Thursdays a particular effort is put in bilingual music. In 2009, "F**K Cover Fridays" was introduced, offering the same specials as Toonie Tuesdays and emphasizing no cover charge. Lovefest and Oktoberfest are among the Wednesday events that created a buzz around campus.
Located in the basement of Simard Hall. It opened October 2008 as a green and fair-trade student café with a deli sandwich bar, as well as a variety of fair trade coffees. The space in which the Café (the business) is located was newly renovated and its bookings are managed by the Student Association of the Faculty of Arts. In the corner of that student space once was a student run café, later taken over by Chartwells, and then abandoned in 2007.
Canadian Federation of Students affiliation
The SFUO is Local 41 of the Canadian Federation of Students, the same local number it held from 1985 to 1994.
In the summer of 2008, a committee was formed to create a report on national student organizations and their benefits. The vast majority of this report was about the Canadian Federation of Students.
Consequently, the SFUO Board of Administration voted in favor of becoming prospective members of the Canadian Federation of Students. Later, in November 2008, the SFUO joined the Canadian Federation of Students in a referendum question that brought out 22% of the voting population. Approximately 52% of those who voted in this election were in favour of the referendum.
The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa elects its executive council annually, usually in the February general elections. At that time, the positions of President, Vice President Student Affairs, Vice President Finance, Vice President University Affairs, Vice President Communication and Vice President Social are elected as well as the faculty director positions on the Board of Administration.
Past presidents of the organization have included Marcel Prud'homme (1958–59), André Ouellet (1959–60), Allan Rock (1969–70), Hugh Segal (1970–71), Denis Paradis (1974–75), Mauril Bélanger (1977–79), Bernard Drainville (1984–85), Gilles Marchildon (1987–88), Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin (1990–91) and Guy Caron (1992-94).
Rape Culture Scandal
On February 28th 2014, private Facebook conversation between 4 male elected members of the SFUO, and one other male-non elected member, involved with the association of the Faculty of Arts were made public by SFUO president, Anne-Marie Roy.
The screenshots of the conversation was first posted by a blogger on the Belle Jar. The conversation was charged with sexually-explicit comments directed towards Roy. Some of these comments included "someone punish her with their shaft" and "Well Christ, if you fuck Anne Marie I will definitely buy you a beer". Anne-Marie was first made aware of the conversation via anonymous email on February 10th 2014, just one day before the 2014 SFUO Elections, and later decided to make the conversation public.
Anne-Marie Roy released the screenshots of the private conversation despite being threatened with legal action by four of the five participants. The SFUO president decided to speak up to shed light on the prevalent problem of Rape Culture on university campuses. However, after the news spread of the conversation, Roy received a phone call from one of the participants saying the group decided to backdown from the legal action.
The five participants: Bart Tremblay (the non-elected member), Alexandre Giroux (Board of directors of the SFUO and VP social for the Science Student Association), Alex Larochelle (VP social for the Criminology Student Association), Pat Marquis (VP Social of the SFUO) and Michel Fournier-Simard (VP Social for the Political Science and International development Association), sent Roy an email apologizing and emphasizing that their comments were not threats against her. The four elected students later resigned from their positions on the different student associations.
The story was quickly picked up by several local news outlets including, CFRA News talk Radio, the Ottawa Sun and CTV. The conversation also gathered national attention appearing in articles in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and Macleans Magazine.
The CBC aired a news story about Anne-Marie and the incident on March 2nd 2014.
The story surfaced the same week as the University of Ottawa men's varsity hockey team was suspended after allegedly being involved in a gang sexual assault while playing in Thunder Bay.
On March 5th 2014, the SFUO sent out an email to all the University of Ottawa students stating "it condemns and takes action against rape culture at the University of Ottawa". The letter made aware that the SFUO already works against rape culture and sexism on the university campus with efforts such as the "No means No" campaign and the "Consent is Sexy" campaign.
The SFUO announced the creation of a Task Force Against Rape Culture, which will "address the ways in which rape culture can be part of our activities".
On March 11th 2014, students and staff of the university of Ottawa put together a task force of their own in response to two recent sexual misconduct scandals, calling the administration's response a "PR stunt." This second task force was created after an email from the SFUO to all the students of the school stated that they created their own task force to tackle the rape-culture problem at the University of Ottawa. The separate task force was created to make "sure that everybody — professors, staff, students —have a chance to direct this task force, to engage in this task force, and to really make sure we collectively come up with a set of recommendations and tools to combat rape culture on our campus."
- "Incidental Fees 2010-2011". Registrar.uottawa.ca. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
- [dead link]
- Agora Bookstore and Internet Cafe
- "cfs-fcee.ca". cfs-fcee.ca. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
- English version of the The committee's report: http://sfuo.ca/pdf/cfs_report_EN.pdf
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