WATERLOO — A University of Waterloo student group is scrambling to figure out how it will continue projects that tackle issues from tenants’ rights to lower tuition after fellow students voted to withdraw its funding.
The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG), formed in 1973, has long supported social justice and environmental issues on campus and around Waterloo Region.
But the group’s future is uncertain after students voted to eliminate their $4.75 fee for WPIRG — or about $270,000 in annual funding — a decision that could effect a range of initiatives from food for the poor, a local gay film festival, Black History Month celebrations and mental health awareness campaigns.
The debate over WPIRG’s funding started after its controversial support for an offshoot called the Palestine Solidarity Action Group, which calls for a boycott of Israeli universities.
That drew the attention of some Canadian Jewish lobby groups, who argued the boycott is anti-Semitic. They got involved in the campaign to sway Waterloo students to revoke WPIRG’s funding.
This WPIRG extortion racket operates at many universities and needs to be stamped out.