As a former University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) director, I’m appalled at the actions taken by the UVSS board in pushing through a last minute referendum to defund VIPIRG.
VIPIRG is a progressive campus group that has researched and advocated on a variety of causes over the decades, including retail workers’ rights, the war on drugs, student debt and financial distress, recycling, and much, much more.
For whatever reason, (you won’t find it in the motion that Director-at-Large Eric Jakubowski submitted with less than three days’ notice) the UVSS board has decided rather than support and work with VIPIRG on these and other progressive causes, they would rather undermine them and all the good work they’ve done.
Even worse, Jakubowski and the UVSS have made so many defamatory statements about VIPIRG that VIPIRG is threatening legal action for libel. How is wasting student fees on legal fees helping anyone?
Jakubowski and the board would do well to remember that back in 2002, a former manager of the UVSS defrauded the society, leading to [an approximate] $500 000 deficit. For them to claim VIPIRG should be disbanded based on an annual audit that found no financial fraud is incredibly hypocritical. By their standard, the UVSS should have disbanded over 15 years ago.
I’m hoping the students of UVic are smart enough to see through these political games.
UPDATED: This letter was updated on Feb. 28 at 12:43 p.m.