Pay attention to LSPIRG now

The annual general meeting of the Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG) culminated in the election of a new board of directors — overwhelmingly made up of members of an organization that have opposed aspects of LSPIRG’s operations for a number of years on this campus.

As a campus organization funded by students at a rate of about $20 per year, per student, and with an opt-out arrangement, LSPIRG’s operations should be the interest of each student, especially those who currently take no steps to understand what their money is going toward or have no idea what LSPIRG is at all. Suggestions that the funds allocated to the organization in years past were not properly or prudently utilized also makes clear that more accountability and general interest from students is crucial for its continued operation.

While LSPIRG has a stated mandate of nonpartisanship, inevitably issues will arise when funds from students as a whole end up in the hands of working groups on one side of the political spectrum or another and there is a perception of imbalance.

With this radical shakeup on the board of directors, it remains to be seen what will become of LSPIRG. Those involved with the new board of directors maintain that the organization will not be ‘burned to the ground,’ but some form of ideological shift seems inevitable given the background of most of the board.

To those that have some loose perception of LSPIRG, regardless of the stated intent, it has seemed linked to issues of dissent and other traditionally left-leaning pursuits and ideas. While it is important that this resource be available to all students and utilized properly and equitably, this development seems endemic of a larger trend away from activism and opposition that Laurier’s campus and students were once known for and toward a more conservative state of affairs.

It is up to the Laurier students who have either blindly or actively supported LSPIRG in recent years to dictate whether this aligns with their own views and how they would like to see the organization proceed – regardless of the outcome a new board will have.

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