In the Feds General Meeting (GM) agenda released March 15, a student submitted a motion to censure the Cooperative Education and Career Action (CECA) department.
This motion calls for Feds to censure CECA due to underperformance in the delivery of support for co-op students, as well as calling for VP education-elect Andrew Clubine to deliver on his campaign promise to conduct a deep dive into the co-op fee.
Censuring: a formal means for students to express disapproval.
“This motion is a useful tool to echo the concerns of students with CECA,” Heather Bone, the submitter of the motion, said “Hopefully, it will make [VP education-elect] Andrew Clubine’s negotiations with the university have more influence.”
From her own experience as a former co-op student, Bone found CECA was more of an annoyance than actual help. Bone also expressed belief that the co-op fee was not worth the cost she was paying, especially since she was arranging her own jobs.
“I’m not opposed to the co-op fee going up per se, but if it does, students should see an increase in the value of CECA’s services,” Bone said. “I think students should know where their money is going and why the co-op fee is going up.”
Bone sees the motion to censure CECA as “a way of saying to the university ‘something has to change’ and a call for more transparency. Right now, there isn’t enough data publicly available to know if this is the case.”
When asked about the motion, Feds president Chris Lolas said, “We would still continue to work with CECA [and] advocate for improvements for the co-op experience and career action, but it’s basically a formally way of saying we disapprove of what [they’ve] been doing.”
Should the motion be passed, Feds would inform CECA that they are being censured, as well as send the text of the motion and summarize the general meeting debate so that people at CECA would have an understanding of the reasons why.
“If CECA were censured, they would recognize that … they need to improve the services that they’re being censured for,” Lolas said.
“Clearly when any student, or group of students, articulates the kinds of issues that are listed in that motion, we need to do more to communicate and help students understand not just what we do, but why we do it,” Peggy Jarvie, associate provost of co-operative and experiential education, told Imprint.
Asked about CECA what CECA will do if the censure happens, Jarvie said, “We would be doing the same thing we would do even if the motion doesn’t pass. We will be continuing to reach out to students. We will be continuing to offer the best possible support. We will be continuing to work with our employers to ensure that we have as many high-quality experiences and opportunities available to students as we can.”
Along with the motion to censure CECA, “The fee changes, the bylaw amendment, as well as our board of directors’ elections, these are all really important things that happen at the general meeting and I encourage as many students to attend,” Lolas said.
Other items on the agenda:
Feds fee increases
- CPI increases to Feds and orientation fees to match inflation
- Increase in the Feds fee to increase honoraria for service co-ordinators
- Fee to hiring of a part-time clubs administration assistant
Notable bylaw changes
- VP internal title changed to VP student life for more clarity on what they do
- Feds elections are not confined to the month of February, the busiest month for students
- Board of Directors elections
- Have a say in Feds decision-making and long term strategies