Thursday, November 6, 2008


The Canadian Federation of Students had the annual "National Day of Action" recently, and I kinda of accidently was there. I have proudly boycotted the ultrapartisan, misleading campaigns of the CFS the previous two years, but this year I just happened to stumble upon the Human Rights Monument during the protest. The rhetoric was same old, same old, "Students United", "You are either with us or anti-student", etc. The rally served also as the effective kick-off of the campaign to get the U of O student union to join the CFS in an upcoming referendum. The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper, did a fact check on the CFS lit, showing the kind of things U of O can expect if they vote yes:

A collection of mis-represented stats, unbacked up claims, and bald faced lies. As the CFS is basically the twin organization of the NDP Youth, it is hardly shocking for them to use such tactics and rhetoric, but it is important for people to know that the CFS does not speak for all students.

In Ontario, The CFS-O has lobbied for years on behalf of “lower tuition fees”, claiming that only big loud protests, angry partisanship, and "solidarity" can bring about change in this matter. Despite the rhetoric of “The Students, united, can never be defeated”, the CFS-O has failed to deliver on being able to have lower tuition fees. Yet year after year, CFS councils pat themselves on the back for "standing up for students" and ask for higher student levys for themselves. The CFS in its campaigns set student groups and faculties against each other, students against administrators, students against governments, etc. This divisiveness only further prevents students from making real positive gains. By promoting such negative and childish projects such as the F**k Tuition Fees campaign, the CFS reflects poorly on the potential maturity, capabilities, and and prevents student movements from being taken more seriously. Childish rhetoric? Overheated partisanship? Claiming to be standing up for those they represent yet never actually accomplishing anything? Wow, I never would have guessed the CFS and the NDP are in bed together.

A look at BC shows the real CFS. When several schools had referendums on leaving the CFS, documents got leaked showing the CFS formed a secret plan to counter and influence the referendums, which allegedly included bringing non-students from outside BC on campus, including fulltime staffers of other organizations including the NDP. A document also contained lists of known and prospective CFS supporters at schools across Canada graded according to their perceived campaigning ability, (including Carleton's CUSA, shockingly enough, last years CUSA prez who got an "A" now has a CFS-O position) as well as the names of several individuals the organization evidently planed to secure employment for at various student unions. The CFS also intended to both hire and train all poll clerks for the referendum vote, as well as personally design and print the ballots.

The CFS: Proudly united (unless you aren't a rabid Dipper, in which case we will do all in our power to limit your influence on campus) for Students (as long as you support us wading into social issues that have nothing to do with education, and again if you are a rabid Dipper) since 1981.

1 comment:

MississaugaPeter said...

It's funny, no, I guess it is not funny. But 25 years ago, at the U. of Alberta, CFS was a bone of contention. It was easy joining, very difficult withdrawing from. But we were successful.

It is an organization that has never achieved it's potential and appears has never achieved anything more than feed the egos/resumes of some of its self-serving hacks.