Thursday, October 28, 2010

U-Pass Update

BC post-secondary students are going to have to wait a little bit longer to get their U-Passes. Post-secondary institutions and student associations are continuing their negotiations with TransLink and the provincial government, but the deadline has now passed to have the passes available for January.

“I know students are anxious to get their U-Passes,” says Blaine Jensen, Vice President of Educational Services at Douglas College. “But neither the institutions, nor the student associations are willing to rush into a contract that isn’t the best possible deal for students. We want to make sure we get the details right to make it fair for everyone.”

Once the details of the contract have been finalized, students at each post-secondary institution, including Douglas, will have an opportunity to vote in a referendum on whether they want to enter the U-Pass program.

Jensen says that getting the contract right is essential to ensure that as many students as possible are eligible for the program. He also wants to make sure that students can vote for something that they feel is fair and equitable.

“Students have been asking for a U-Pass program for years and we want the program to succeed,” says Jensen. “It wouldn’t serve anyone to enter into a less-than-ideal contract and then have students vote it down. Let’s do it once and do it right.”

Jensen says he’s confident that negotiations will soon be resolved and the U-Pass program will be available for a student referendum soon. If the referendums are successful, U-Passes will then be available for students in the spring of 2011.

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