We are writing today, as individuals as well as representatives of clubs on campus, to endorse the current U-Pass referendum.
First, we would like to talk about the U-Pass program itself. Over the last three years, the U-Pass program has provided an invaluable service to students on campus. There are many benefits associated with the U-Pass, the foremost being that it allows students to access Mississauga Transit at an affordable rate. It also provides a sustainable alternative for students who do not drive. This year, over 9,000 students picked up their U-Passes, which shows that this is one of the most popular services on campus.
The contract for the eight-month U-Pass expires in April 2011, and so it fell on the current executive of the UTMSU to renegotiate a new contract for us. Not only did they manage to do that, but they also managed to convince Mississauga Transit to offer a summer U-Pass to students.
The referendum is currently underway, and we would like to congratulate UTMSU on doing a good job on raising awareness about this issue. There have, unfortunately, been some facts that have been misrepresented, and we would like to take this opportunity to talk about them.
1.Students will only pay for the summer U-Pass if they are enrolled in summer classes. It will be completely separate from the eight-month U-Pass in that the fees for the two will be charged separately, and students will only be charged for the sessions they are registered in.
2.Though the two U-Passes are separate from each other, the referendum deals with both. That is, students are required to vote on whether they want to establish a new summer U-Pass, but also on whether they want to continue to keep their eight-month U-Pass.
Some of you reading this are members of our clubs, and may have received a message expressing our support for the U-Pass. We would like to reiterate that message of support, and encourage all of you to vote in favour of the U-Pass.
Also, for students that drive, UTMSU has been running the Reduce Parking Fees campaign to call on Erindale College Council to reduce parking fees by 10%, and we would encourage everybody, both drivers and students who take the bus, to sign the petition and get involved with the campaign.
Students in commerce pay fees that build the chemistry labs, and students who take the bus pay fees that build the parking lots. We are all in this together, and it is up to us to come together and ensure that all students have access to affordable transit and cheap parking rates.
So from November 23 to 25, please come out and vote yes to ensure that next year, we have access to our eight-month U-Pass and get a summer U-Pass.
Paulette Adriana Smith
Cliff Lee Jun Wei