The continuation of this discussion troubles me. You may believe that manipulation or trickery is used in coercing students to pay for these levies but let’s consider the facts. In your article you stated that the TCSA charges each and every student $750. This is your first error because in reality students pay $545.50 to the TCSA, $750 is what each student pays to ALL levy groups and a large portion of that is refundable. The bulk of this money to the TCSA goes to healthcare benefits and to the shiny bus pass that everyone receives. When you take away those portions from the sum total of 545.50, you end up with $40.25 that goes to funding clubs and groups, events at Trent and to the food bank in which is being used quite regularly from the TCSA’s membership.
Secondly, I would like to state that the TCSA is not an umbrella organization in which all levy groups adhere to. The TCSA is its own separate organization and does not govern the other levy groups as to what they do with their funding or dole it out. Levy groups participate in the election so as to ask students if what they are requesting is something that the students want. It is unfortunate that voter turnout has not been stellar and yet there is lots of campaigning and persistent people stopping you in the halls of OC and at Bata podium to get students to vote – guess it isn’t for a lack of trying and yet what you failed to report on was the fact that last year Trent University had the second highest university in voter turnout.
At every university there are levy groups with considerable balances to pay at the beginning of the school year, just an example is that Queen’s students pay roughly around $1000 per year for levy groups and “activity fees” in which only around only $283 of that is refundable. This is something that when you sign up to go to a specific university, you agree to the terms and conditions of the contract you are signing when you hit the confirm enrollment on OUAC.
Finally, you may condemn levy groups for the mere fact that they are coercing money out of the student populace, but consider that this very article that you have written and angered so many through, is produced through a levy group which is non-refundable. So as much as you relegate levy groups as evil for the coercion, you are in fact supporting a levy group by using its services.