Despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us, this year has also included some really significant victories for students and for the student movement here in BC. As the year winds up, we wanted to take you through some of our highlights to show that there were, in fact, many bright points to celebrate!
BC Access Grant 💰
Probably the biggest win for students of 2020 was the announcement of the BC Access Grant, the first up-front needs-based grant for students in BC in almost 20 years. This Grant, which was accessible starting in September, will provide up to $4,000 to post-secondary students in non-repayable financial aid. After years of campaigning and lobbying for this program this announcement is a really big deal for current and future students, and for their families.
Students’ mental health has been an issue of concern for many years, and the pandemic certainly brought it to the forefront. In April the BC government launched Here2Talk, a 24/7 mental health service for post-secondary students. The service was scheduled to launch in September, but was pushed up to help students struggling with all of the stressors that came with the pandemic.
New BCFS Members 💃🏻
This year our Federation welcomed the students at Quest University as our newest members! After a campus-wide referendum in March, the students voted to join our organisation, and officially became members as of the BCFS. We are happy to welcome them as a part of our team!
The Deals App 📲
Although we launched our student discount app last year, we have grown it so much in 2020! With over 350 discount partners at over 600 locations all across BC, we are saving students money in almost every community! We’ve partnered with local businesses in communities across the provinces, as we as with businesses like Aisle, Lyft, Softmoc, and Koodo.
This Website 💻
We have been doing a lot of work this year to make our website as easy to access as possible for all of our members (including you!). Take a second to check out all of our campaigns and services laid out in our easy-to-navigate website!
During the provincial election in the Fall, and in the throne speech that followed, the government made many promises that will positively impact students:
- undertaking a funding review for the post-secondary system
- expanding the BC Access Grant
- closing loopholes in the tuition fee limit policy
Although these are not things the government has done yet, we will be pushing for them to fulfill these promises in the coming year!
Shifting to Online
We have all done so much work shifting our lives online, and the BCFS is no exception. We have successfully hosted five formal meetings and numerous training sessions all over Zoom. The Zoom fatigue is real, but we are proud of ourselves, and YOU, for being able to make that online switch.
We are all stronger when we work together, so thank you for being with us in this whirlwind year. We hope that you have a happy, safe, and healthy new year!
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