News / UBCSUO

The Referendum: FAQ from UBCO Students

April 19th, 2018

What is the student refugee program? 

“Since 1978, WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) has enabled over 13200+ refugees to settle in Canada as permanent residents and pursue post-secondary education. During the program’s history, students have been sponsored from over 35 countries of origin. WUSC is unique to all other Sponsorship Agreement Holders because the private sponsorships offered with the SRP enable the sponsored refugees to access post-secondary education. Each refugee is sponsored by a campus-based WUSC Local Committee which raises the necessary funds ahead of time and provides the student with at least 12 months of financial, social and academic support”.

What costs are covered by the program? 

University waives: Tuition for all years, Housing expenses for the first year, academic fees for all years, and meal plan for the first year.

Student levy covers: Travel Loan, Local Committee welcome for the student, Text Books, Monthly allowance, Winter break living allowance, Summer rent, Travel to Vancouver for conference facilitation, Summer food, Summer bus pass, Health insurance, Phone bill, and money for emergencies.

Does UBC Vancouver have the SRP?

Yes, the SRP has been implemented at UBC Vancouver for 40 years now and has helped many student refugees resettle in Canada. UBC Vancouver currently sponsors 8 refugee students per year through the program.

How much of the student levy goes directly to the students?

100% of the student levy goes directly to the student. None of the money goes to the SUO.

What happens if there’s money left over? 

The money transfers over and helps support the incoming student and current student.

Why a student levy and what are the benefits? 

“A levy guarantees financial resources every year. It is a model that demonstrates how students can support students. A levy is a tangible way in which each student can assist a refugee to continue their studies in safety and security”.

Why is the student levy mandatory? Why can’t I choose to opt out?

“There is a lot of planning and forethought that is necessary for sponsoring a refugee. In order to

bring a student to our campus every year, we need to have consistent and sustainable funding

to support their financial needs. It costs about $20,000/yr to sponsor a student to come here

and we need every dollar of that to be confirmed before they arrive”.

What is the proposed increase and why?

The increase that is proposed is an incremental one. Next year the student levy will increase from 2$ per semester to 4$ per semester. The year after that to 6$ per semester. The year after that to 8$ per semester. Then the increase stops. Only full-time students have the levy included. The levy is also only collected in the winter session and not the summer one. The increase is for us to be able to support the one new refugee student a year that is joining us at UBCO while still providing partial support to the student that is already here.

What days are voting and where? 

Voting began on the 18th of April and ends on the 27th of April. Voting is on your SSC under WebVote.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email: wusc@ubcsuo.ca

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