Since 1991, CHUO has been recognized as a service of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO). This has meant that approximately 80% of our funding has come from a small levy that every student at the University of Ottawa paid into, along with a food bank, athletic programs, support for victims of sexual assault, and many others.
In the last two months, two threats to this funding have emerged, rendering CHUO’s future very uncertain. Following allegations of fraud against executive members of the SFUO, students chose in a referendum on February 11 to dissolve it and endorsed a new association to take its place, the University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU).
In a second referendum, an 82% majority voted to have the UOSU provide the same services as the SFUO. This speaks to students’ desire to maintain the thriving ecosystem of clubs and services present on the uOttawa campus. But even now, our funding is far from secure.
PROVINCIAL REFORMS TO STUDENT UNIONS
Across the province and starting this fall, students will have the option to opt out of paying into services deemed not essential by the provincial government, i.e. the vast majority of them. In effect, funding for student services will now be collected by donation.
Even if CHUO has been retained as a UOSU service, it’s unclear what share of our previous funding will be collected. In addition, our revenue will likely fluctuate from semester to semester, meaning that more of our funds will need to be saved in case of emergencies.
WHAT WE’RE DOING AND HOW YOU CAN HELP
We’ve collected signatures for a formal petition in opposition to the changes being implemented by the provincial government to Joel Harden, the MPP for Ottawa-Centre. Mr. Harden will be presenting the petition to the Ontario legislature ahead of budget discussions. Other radio stations have done the same and made arrangements with their representatives A big thank you to the contributors, listeners, and community members who printed, circulated and signed our petition!
We’re collecting testimonials about CHUO’s impact here. These help us demonstrate to the provincial government and the university that we matter on campus and beyond. Tell them what CHUO has done for you and your city! We will also be giving these statements to the NCRA (National Campus Radio Association) to be shared with Ontario MPPs.
We’ve started work on diversifying our funding sources to become more independent. You can help ensure our funding is reliable by becoming a Patron and automatically donating a small amount monthly. You can also make a one-time donation to our ongoing GoFundMe campaign.
CHUO has been through crises in the past. We have overcome every one of them, and we know that thanks to our vast network of listeners, community partners, and volunteer contributors, participatory media in the national capital region is not about to go down without a fight. Thank you for doing your part!