VIPIRG Referendum, March 6 - 8 2019

Thirty years ago, UVic students from across various faculties came together to create VIPIRG— the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group— dedicated to research, education, and action for students, by students. Each year since, VIPIRG has provided financial support to students, established the recycling program on campus, and carried out research on issues important to students. For the cost of a cup of coffee each semester, VIPIRG provides: small ($500) and large ($1500) project grants, conference funding, scholarships (open to domestic and international UVic students), a free textbook program, a reference library, and employs seven UVic students each year.

Additionally, our student-staff and volunteers organize monthly workshops addressing students’ needs on topics like budgeting and personal finance, assertiveness, tenancy rights, job skills, and more. VIPIRG also organizes an annual conference featuring world-renowned speakers, publishes research reports and a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. VIPIRG has worked with virtually all departments on campus and helps students connect with faculty through our events and projects. Our research team is currently working with multiple UVic stakeholders on a project that explores sexual misconduct to help improve sexualized violence policies in higher education. All of our projects are initiated and carried out by students to help students build research skills.

In a climate of rising tuition rates and skyrocketing housing costs, we are dismayed that the unprofessional ism seeks to remove services which alleviate students’ financial burdens. VIPIRG also helps students build essential technical skills and professional networks to succeed in an overcrowded job market. We lament the unprofessionalism and lack of knowledge displayed by the UVSS Board and invite students to show their support for VIPIRG —  a student organization that helps students thrive at UVic through our funding programs and services.

On March 6, 7 and 8, undergraduate students will be asked if they want to end VIPIRG’s $3 fee: “Are you in favour of ending the fee, which is $3.00 for full time students per semester and $1.50 for part time students per semester, that goes towards the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG)?”

Vote NO to save this student service, VIPIRG’s student jobs, free textbooks and printing, scholarships, grants, and a student space open to all. A NO vote acknowledges that it is wrong to wholly defund an organisation, especially because students have always had the option to receive a refund for their $3.00 or $1.50 fee. If you vote NO, students like you can continue to create useful research and programs on campus. VOTE NO to ending VIPIRG’s fee and to show the UVSS that student services for all are more important than the whims of a few student politicians. #VoteNoSaveVIPIRG

 If you’re still not sure or need more information, we are happy to talk with you about any questions you might have. There’s also more information at  

If you already know you’re voting NO, thank you. If you’re looking for ways to support our campaign, here are a few ideas of things that you can do between now and March 8th.

Want to get involved in the “Vote NO. Save VIPIRG!” campaign? Here’s how.

1. If you are a UVSS student, vote “No” on Question 4 to keep VIPIRG’s levy.

The voting period is from March 6 to 8. Only UVSS members can can vote in the referendum.

2. Follow our campaign online and share with your friends!

We’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Tell them about the work VIPIRG does and why you support a No vote. It’s also helpful to let everyone know that voting can be done online via

3. Sign up for a voting reminder.

It takes around 5 seconds to sign up, and you’ll receive a text message or phone call reminding you to vote.

4. If you’re part of a UVic club or course union, ask about a third-party endorsement of #VOTENOSAVEVIPIRG.

We can send you more information if you want to personally bring it to the coordinators/executive of your club or course union (email us at, call 250-721-7285, or drop by SUB B122).

5. Volunteer for the campaign.

Contact VIPIRG if you want to help get the word out by chalking, handing out flyers, doing classroom talks, etc. Email, call 250-721-7285, or drop by SUB B122. Note that to comply with referendum rules VIPIRG needs to track any print materials, so if you want to hand out flyers please come to VIPIRG and we will give you some you can use.

Non-UVSS students

If you’re a grad student, prof, or a community member, you can write a statement of support, help spread the word, and more. Contact us to find out how you can support: