Commerce Undergraduate Society announces October Referendum Results

Vancouver, B.C. — November 1st 2013 — The Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, announced today the results of its October referendum to contribute $200,000 to expand the offerings of the University’s Counselling Services. The motion, as put forward and endorsed by the CUS Board of Directors, failed to gain the approval of the student body with only 245 of 815 participants voting in favour of the proposal.

While students expressed strong support for developing steps to address the serious issue of sexual assault at UBC, many brought forward questions and concerns as to whether this contribution was the best possible action they could take towards creating a safer, more inclusive campus environment. Many communicated a desire to see a more broad-based, collective effort on the part of students in addressing this community-wide issue, rather than a short term financial contribution from a single constituency.

“What we saw throughout the referendum process was an incredible interest from students in contributing to the creation of a safer, more supportive campus atmosphere, and a lot of different perspectives on how to do that in the most meaningful way possible” said Sean Fleming, recently elected CUS President. “Students really wanted to participate more in the response, rather than simply contributing financial support, as they recognize this is a long term, community-wide issue and they wanted the response to reflect that.”

The CUS is committed to enacting lasting change not only within the Faculty of Commerce, but also the wider UBC community, and will be working in collaboration with Sauder administration and other campus stakeholders moving forward to explore and implement further measures to effect this change.

“These are ongoing issues here on campus and we will continue to seek ways that we can make an impact in addressing them, both as an organization and as individuals” Fleming said. “The CUS takes these issues very seriously and is dedicated to ensuring positive change occurs on campus.”

The CUS will continue with the programs it is currently implementing to change the culture within its own organization. Since the announcement of UBC’s detailed plan moving forward from the events at FROSH, 84 CUS leaders, including FROSH leaders, FROSH executives, CUS executives and board of directors members, have completed Anti-Violence Ally Training with the Sexual Assault Support Center and will be taking part in Anti-Discrimination Response Training, hosted by the Really? Program, over the coming week. CUS leaders will also be participating in community service on campus. Partnerships have already been established with the Sexual Assault Support Center and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the CUS continues to reach out to other campus groups as part of this service effort.

Full election results can be viewed at: elections.cus.ca/results

For the past 70 years, the Commerce Undergraduate Society has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of Bachelor of Commerce students at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School Business. The CUS is among the largest business school student societies in Canada, with hundreds of student volunteers and an array of student offerings.

The CUS supports its members through services and clubs that assist in the personal, professional and academic success of students. This includes offering tutoring, social functions, and large-scale conferences that offer career insights along with networking opportunities with industry professionals.

AMS President Caroline Wong and CUS President Sean Fleming will be available from 3 – 4 P.M. at the Student Union Building, Room 213, 6138 Student Union Blvd on November 2nd.