UVSS ELECTIONS | SOCC referendum

Campus News

Students of Colour Collective asking for funds to create additional resources for minorities in the campus community

Next month, the Students of Colour Collective (SOCC) will put forward a referendum question asking students about a fee levy increase in order to create added resources for minorities on campus. 

On Jan. 16, the UVSS approved three questions to be posed to UVic students alongside the 2020 student society elections. One of the three questions will ask students whether they support a $1.00 fee increase for full-time students and $0.50 increase for part-time students to increase the student fee levy for SOCC. 

After the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG) abruptly left room B122 of the SUB in the summer, SOCC was granted the research group’s old space after years of advocating for a bigger room. 

“For SOCC, 2019 was a very pivotal year in our history,” says Shayan de Luna-Bueno, SOCC’s UVSS board representative and official proponent of the referendum. “We moved into a larger room with an office, so our collective also got larger as we were pushing for more awareness.” 

Currently, full-time students pay $0.70 to the  SOCC fee levy while part-time students pay $0.35 cents a semester. 

SOCC has the lowest budget of the advocacy groups, de Luna-Bueno says, which limits their capacity to offer workshops and events to students and community members. Passing the referendum would allow SOCC to host larger events, and add new literature and resources to their new space. 

De Luna-Bueno also says that if the referendum passes, SOCC will have a greater capacity to work with other BIPOC groups on campus — such as the African-Caribbean Student Association and the Iranian Student Association. 

“Essentially, we want to have a hub for everyone to come together, and [have them be] able to use our resources because we want to be an accessible collective,” says de Luna-Bueno.

Voting for the UVSS elections will take place from March 4 to 6. The Martlet and CFUV are co-hosting two election events, the All Candidates and Referenda Forum on March 2 and the Lead Directors Debate on March 3, both at 2:30 in the Vertigo lounge.