Students vote to eliminate opt-out WPIRG fee in referendum

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With 82 per cent of the vote, students have voted to eliminate the mandatory, opt-out WPIRG fee after a three-day referendum.

With a total of 8,788 votes cast, approximately 27 per cent of students took part in the referendum.

The results were announced Sept. 29 at 4:30 p.m. at the SLC Great Hall. Approximately 50 students were present.

The referendum asked students to choose between keeping or removing the mandatory $4.75 fee for WPIRG, which is refundable each academic term.

While 1,579 students voted to keep the fee, 7,156 students voted to remove it. Approximately 53 votes were declined.

“I don’t think any of us were surprised with the results,” said Marcus Abramovitch, member of the Remove committee. “We’re really excited right now, we’re really happy. This is what we’ve been waiting for for nine months.”

Feds President Chris Lolas explained what needs to be done now that the referendum results are out.

“The next step is that I would bring this to the university’s board of governors because they control policies for students,” Lolas said. “Generally speaking, if it doesn’t really affect the university’s budget, they’ll listen to whatever students [have to say].”

The Keep committee released a statement to Imprint on their thoughts of the referendum results.

“We are incredibly disappointed with today’s results but we want to say thank you to all the students who have worked, volunteered and organised with WPIRG both in the last few weeks and over the last 40 years…Our commitment to each other and all who struggle against injustice on campus will not waver. We will continue to do work for students, by students. Student issues will always be relevant.”

More details to follow.

Click the video to see Feds President Chris Lolas announce the referendum results.

 

This article has been updated to include the statement from the Keep committee.

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