YUFA's Proposed Levy for Refugee Bursaries

Dear Colleagues:

In response to the global refugee crisis, the YUFA Executive Committee approved a motion on November 13, 2015 to introduce a $5 per member per month levy to support two currently underfunded bursaries at York to assist refugee students in financial need. Administered by the Centre of Refugee Studies (CRS) and the Office of Student Financial Services, these bursaries are the UNHCR/CRS Refugee Student Bursary (for students with refugee status) and the CRS Bursary for Refugee Students (for students without status, for example those applying for refugee status).

The global scale and magnitude of the current refugee and displacement crisis convinced the YUFA Executive to join other organizations, including labour unions, to make a collective contribution to addressing a crisis that obviously includes but goes much beyond Syria and Iraq. After careful deliberation and in consultation with the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, the Executive decided to recommend that YUFA members make a modest but tangible contribution to existing, well-administered but vastly under-resourced efforts to support refugee students in financial need (no matter their geographical origins) right here at York University. Our levy is meant to complement other York-centred initiatives: the initiative undertaken by the York University administration to feed into the Lifeline Syria project, which is based on individual or small-group contributions and focused specifically on Syrian refugees; and the York-based bursary linked to the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), which has just recently received additional funding commitments from the York Administration.

As required by Article 10.2 of the YUFA Constitution, the membership must approve the levy via electronic vote. If approved, the levy will be in place for twelve months, and can be renewed after that time by a vote of the YUFA membership. In addition, post-doctoral fellows will be exempt from this levy. You will receive instructions on how to vote and access the ballot in a separate email. To read more about the proposed levy and the text of the motion approved by the YUFA Executive, click here.