In March of 2004, graduate students at Brock voted to become members of the Canadian Federation of Students. In 2020-2021 full-time graduate students pay a fee of $8.73 per term, and part-time graduate students pay $4.37 per term (Fall & Winter).
The Canadian Federation of Students was formed in 1981 to provide students with an effective and united voice, provincially and nationally. Students recognized that to be truly effective in representing their collective interests to the federal and provincial governments, it was vital to unite under one banner.
Today, the Federation is composed of over one-half million students from more than 80 university and college students’ unions across Canada.
Because universities and colleges are funded primarily by the federal government and administered exclusively by the provincial government, government policies and priorities determine the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education in Canada.
Tuition fee levels, student financial assistance programs and funding for research are all set directly or indirectly by both levels of government. Thus, it is vital that students collectively organize at the provincial and national levels to ensure that students’ rights and concerns are fully represented.
No individual students’ union, no matter how big or active, has the resources or the political clout to effectively influence the post-secondary education policies of the provincial and federal governments on its own. At best, an individual students’ union could have an impact on only a few federal electoral ridings. Governments ignore groups that pose no political threat to them. It is also much more cost effective for a large number of students’ unions to pool their resources and work in partnership than for each to undertake this work on its own. The Federation serves this purpose, giving campus students’ unions across the country a united voice and powerful influence.
Mission and vision
The Federation was founded with the following aims and objectives:
- To organize students on a democratic, co-operative basis in advancing our interests and those of our community;
- To provide a common framework within which students can communicate, exchange information, and share experiences, skills and ideas;
- To ensure the effective use and distribution of the resources of the student movement, while maintaining a balanced growth and development of student organizations that respond to students’ needs and desires;
- To bring students together to discuss and to achieve necessary educational, administrative, or legislative change wherever decision-making affects students;
- To facilitate co-operation among students in organizing services that supplement our academic experience, provide for our human needs and that develop a sense of community with our peers and other members of society;
- To articulate the real desire of students to fulfill the duties, and be accorded the rights of citizens in our society and in the international community;
- To achieve our ultimate goal – a system of post-secondary education that is accessible to all, which is of high quality, which is nationally planned, which recognizes the legitimacy of student representation and the validity of student rights, and whose role in society is clearly recognized and appreciated.
More than two decades later, the Federation remains committed to these aims and objectives.