TRUSU asks university for signature on funding letter

TRUSU’s open letter on support for increased government funding presented to board of governors

Provincial funding levels according to TRUSU’s research for its Fund the Future campaign. (TRUSU)

Representatives from the TRU Student Union have put forward an open letter to the Kamloops community to the TRU board of governors, asking the board to add its signature. The letter is an appeal for support for a re-evaluation of TRU’s funding formula, a change that TRUSU and other signatories hope would mean more funding from the provincial government.

Other signatories of the letter include Lois Rugg, president of CUPE Local 4879 and Tom Friedman, president of the TRU Faculty Association.

Space to sign on the letter was provided for Jim Thomson, chair of the TRU board of governors, but the board decided not to take action immediately after the presentation.

TRUSU representatives Amber Storvold (VP external), Cole Hickson (director-at-large), and Leif Douglas (campaigns coordinator) have been advocating for the union’s Fund the Future campaign around campus since the fall. Fund the Future aims to have the provincial government re-evaluate the TRU funding formula.

TRU received $2,000 less per full-time student than any other research university in British Columbia in the 2015/16 school year, according to TRUSU.

The student union has made presentations and has the support of more than 20 campus departments and staff units, as well as a student petition with 2,600-plus student signatures and 400-plus staff signatures.

The letter, which calls for a united front of TRU stakeholders to take this challenge to the community at large.

While the board of governors did not take action at the meeting, they did react positively to the presentation and to the union’s initiative, reassuring them that they are aware of the gravity of the problem and are also in the process of addressing it. The board said they would be taking it into consideration and returning to TRUSU with a written response.

Despite the board not signing the letter, Storvold is optimistic.

“I was happy to have had the chance to present on our campaign to the board, and I’m looking forward to hearing their response,” she said.

The next step for TRUSU is to take the campaign out into the broader community.

“It impacts the whole Kamloops community, not just the campus community,” Storvold said.