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Who does UMSU really work for?

Welcome to the University of Manitoba: a campus that “thrives” and “grows” by disengaging from the student population via the brick walls of bureaucracy and oppressive ideology. Please do not be fooled by our school’s glittery and distracting advertisements that announce “I am a trailblazer” or “I am a rebel.” In fact, you are not a trailblazer or rebel, as a student of this university.

Instead, you are expected to pay your dues and enter into a submissive relationship with both the university administration and student union. This was shown during the 2014-15 school year when several student, faculty, and staff groups protested the austerity budget that would see four per cent cuts to most faculties and some non-academic units. Here are some – certainly not all – things to consider should you decide to continue your academic journey through this treacherous campus.


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Fossil fuel divestment: the way to the future

Although the reasons outlined above make a strong moral case for divestment, fossil fuel divestment also makes economic sense. A recent news article in the Guardian confirmed that fossil fuel free funds outperformed conventional funds by 1.2 per cent yearly according to MSCI, a U.S.-based provider of equity, fixed income and hedge fund stock market indices. Even former Shell chairman Mark Moody-Stuart said “divestment is a rational approach […] If you think your money can be used somewhere else, you should switch it. Selective divestment or portfolio switching is actually what investors should be doing.”

There are choices to be made in the near future that will have a great impact. The choices themselves are clear: we either take action toward a better future, or we allow our universities to support that future’s destruction. The right choice is clearly the former – we must choose to divest.


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The question of quotas

For over a year, the faculty of engineering has faced allegations of discrimination towards international students. These allegations stem from engineering’s goal to admit between…


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The insurance switcheroo

UMSU’s failure to find an alternate insurance plan comparable to CFS’s is made even bleaker when you consider who uses the plan. During my degree, I opted out of the health and dental plan every year because, as bourgeois scum, I had coverage through my parents. The students who live comfortably and receive some form of parental support will not even notice this premium increase, as they will never have to pay it.


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Landscapes of extraction

Approaching resource extraction by treating the hinterland as a provider for global economies isolates the local communities from their land, often excluding them from jobs and wealth associated with the resource industry as well as excluded from use of the physical resource. With extraction of resources increasingly for exports and global use, regionally the benefits of extraction landscapes are rarely reaped.


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Protest! The conscience demands it

In heeding our conscience – and what, other than that, is the purpose of having consciousness – we will find a path clear before us. This is the path of protest, of differentiation form the norm. Not of calling out, but of turning away. True protest, the kind that seeks change, must be more affirmation than negation. It is focused on the actions we can ourselves take, not the actions not taken by others.


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Imbalance at UMSU

In practice, the executive holds all the power. Executive members are full-time officers of UMSU. They can devote their entire day to furthering their agendas. They can utilize the expertise of UMSU staff to develop large-scale plans and proposals. Most importantly, the executive controls the flow of information to council.


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Peace, bound

We are all entitled to support whom we choose and to give voice to that choice. To listen to our conscience and act upon the things it tells us about the world. If we do so without violence, there can be no case for the use of government force against us. In a free and just society, the use of government power to punish individuals for speaking their beliefs, no matter how unpopular, is oppression.


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India’s rockstar prime minister

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Ottawa on April 14 to a large number of fans waiting and chanting his name. The visit was…


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Refuting the ‘silent majority’

The true absurdity worthy of note in Ethan Cabel’s article “U of M budget woes a function of weak provincial leadership,” published in the Apr….