Stopping the cuts is a community effort

Do not overstate CFS’s involvement in the campaign

Letters published in the Manitoban are edited for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Views expressed in the letters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manitoban.

In recent articles in the Manitoban, I continue to see the Stop the Cuts campaign referred to as a campaign led by the Canadian Federation of Students-Manitoba (CFS-MB). This is a misleading term and one that should probably be avoided if one is attempting to paint an accurate picture of this campaign.

The Stop the Cuts campaign is not a product of CFS in which other groups have joined under the CFS banner. Rather, this campaign was brought about when virtually every union on campus came together on equal footing, with a unified voice and demand. This includes the University of Manitoba Students’ Union, University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association, University of Manitoba Faculty Association, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3909, Unifor Local 3007, Association of Employees Supporting Educational Services, and CFS-MB.

CFS-MB has been an integral part of this coalition, but if there is a belief that CFS-MB “leads” in a hierarchical way, this belief is mistaken. CFS-MB has helped “lead” the charge in terms of assisting the mobilization of students, predominantly by working with the University of Manitoba Student Action Network (UMSAN). UMSAN is the group responsible for setting up tables, delivering pamphlets, putting up posters, and performing various other ground work. This work is often done with members of CFS-MB and UMSAN side-by-side, but it is important to make the distinction that we are not being led, but standing together. The coalition of unions is in an analogous situation.

This point is overlooked too often. While the Stop the Cuts campaign has yet to hear an adequate response from the university administration, much has already been accomplished. The broad University of Manitoba community, with the exception of the administration, has banded around a campaign that places the integrity of our education as its highest priority. Groups which may have disagreements elsewhere are joining together in the name of the student body. Other politics have been put aside as we focus on our goal, and various student groups and unaffiliated students have joined the movement which has garnered support across Fort Garry, Bannatyne, and even the University of Winnipeg. Stop the Cuts is a grassroots movement that has strong support throughout our community.

Ian McDonald

2 Comments on "Stopping the cuts is a community effort"

  1. Robert Paulson | February 4, 2015 at 12:58 pm |

    The broad university community has not banded around this group at all. Arguably more students were frustrated with the indecipherable shouts interrupting their classes than even thought about showing up.

    • Hi Robert, while there will always be some dissenters there has also been support for the movement from nearly every faction of the university. I’m sorry that the march temporarily disturbed classes, however it’s important to remember that the effects of the cuts which are to be implemented will be incomparably more disruptive to your education. If you’re concerned with keeping your education uninterrupted perhaps consider helping Stop the Cuts or the SAN at a time that’s more convenient.

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