New UMSU daytimers prominently featuring the Refresh executive’s logo have been distributed to students by the University of Manitoba Students’ Union in University Centre as part of the start of a new academic year.
The Refresh logo is displayed as the centre piece of the front cover of the daytimer, just above the UMSU logo. The Refresh logo appears on the bottom of each page describing UMSU groups and services, these pages comprise most of the front section of the agenda.
It is also presented on the first page of the daytimer, which includes the sentence, “brought to you by #refreshUMSU” on the bottom of the page.
UMSU president Al Turnbull said the executive wanted to emphasize the changes they have made since the Fresh slate first took office for the 2013-2014 school year.
“Refresh was something that we wanted, because we wanted students to know that there has been a change in the last two years—and there has. I mean if you look at the last eight years of UMSU politics, the last two have been radically different politically,” said Turnbull.
“When we were doing an agenda design, it was something our graphic designer and [we] talked about. ‘How do we make it different? How do we make it new?’
“We were scrapping the old logo. And we decided as an executive that [ . . . ] we’ve really tried to reshape the campus and the experience, so we want people to know that it was Refresh.”
The total cost for the 15,000 daytimers for the 2014-2015 academic year was $37,000.
The sale of ad space in the agendas also brought in $54,000, leaving the student union with a $17,000 surplus.
Promotional mailers were sent out to all UMSU members in a package that also contained information about UMSU’s Health and Dental Plan. These promotional mailers prominently featured the Refresh logo, and included a four-page coloured print with a front page displaying the names of the UMSU executive members and their positions beside said logo.
The print offered a list of achievements and commitments from this year’s executive as well as promotion for the Frosh Music Festival and various UMSU businesses.
The daytimers do not include any information about the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and services provided by them, aside from a line listing them as a recipient of student fees on a page that provides a breakdown of all student organization fees.
UMSU president Al Turnbull said the omission of CFS information was something that the executive was aware of, but that it was not necessarily an intentional exclusion.
“We just filled out our handbook and we had more information that we wanted to put in there,” said Turnbull. “We felt also last year to have 20 pages of CFS material prior to the UMSU material was ludicrous.”
Daytimers were a point of contention last year for the UMSU executive, of which Al Turnbull and Christian Pierce are still members, as president and vice-president external, respectively.
Last year’s executive removed the CFS promotional materials from the daytimers prior to distribution across campus after finding that they were contractually obligated to pay CFS for 20,000 agendas for the 2013-2014 school year.
The executive had hoped to pay a cheaper rate for their agendas by going with another provider but were told by CFS that if they cancelled their order, placed by the outgoing executive, they would still be obligated to pay the $61,000.
Brent Farrington, a representative for the Canadian Federation of Students, suggested that UMSU has a responsibility to include information about the Canadian Federation of Students in outgoing materials.
“There’s a basic responsibility that a students’ union, [or] students’ association, has [like an obligation] to the federation for [the sake of] its members and that’s to promote the work of the federation on campus, including the campaigns and services to them, and in exchange for that, the local represents students on campus,” said Farrington.
“It seems to be that there’s a withdrawal of Local 103 or UMSU [ . . . ] and when that happens, it’s really the members on campus that lose their ability to access these services and campaigns.
“So, it’s unfortunate that UMSU has (I guess) decided they no longer want—or are speaking on behalf of the rest of the members on that campus that they don’t want them to have—access to these things that they’ve actually already paid for.”
So what you are saying is that by not giving cfs twenty pages to sell themselves we turn an expense into a profit generator for the union? Sweet!
If you check the final financial report from April you will see that the daytimers also made a reasonable profit last year, once the exec decided to finally report the accurate numbers. This year the books have little to no information and seem more like partisan propaganda instead of an official student union handbook and planner for all students.
Michael, you mean rather than the partisan propaganda of the CFS.
UMSU should follow suit of the University of Manitoba’s Graduate Students Association, and rid themselves of any connection to that putrid CFS organization. The CFS doesn’t care about helping Manitoban students, they’re too focused on lining their pockets with our significant financial contribution donated to them as part of our student fees. We should put that money to much better use.
Dear UMSU Executives,
The election campaign is over, it’s time to actually represent, support and work for all students at the U of M.
The fact that you are branding almost all official UMSU communications with Refresh logos makes it seem like you only act on behalf of those who voted for your slate. However, you must recognize that having your election slate’s logo on everything from UMSU is like the Conservative Party of Canada putting their logo on every form of communication from the Government of Canada. This doesn’t happen and shouldn’t at UMSU.
For those who don’t know, including the Executive it seems, UMSU is governed by an UMSU Council made up of representatives of undergraduate students from across campus, not just their supporters. The Executive are supposed to report to and get approval on all decisions from this governing body, especially major decisions such as changing the official logo. I wonder, did the Executive get approval from UMSU Council to change the official UMSU logo to this partisan Refresh brand?