Welcome to a new year, and welcome back to campus!

After more than a year of navigating the challenges brought on by the pandemic and learning remotely, we find ourselves adapting to a ‘new normal’ once again.

The excitement of returning to campus and reuniting with friends and family also brings uncertainty and anxiety for many. But as we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we will come together and rise to these challenges as well.

As restrictions ebb and flow this year and some classes are offered in-person while others continue to be offered online, the most important thing to remember is to have patience and compassion for one another. As students, we must do our part to keep one another safe and continue to advocate for the post-secondary system we want in BC.

This new normal gives us an opportunity to do better. The pandemic has highlighted many forms in which systemic oppression of BIPOC communities persists around the globe. We are committed to working with students’ unions across the province to ensure our campuses are safe for all marginalized people. We can all take an active role in unlearning systems of oppression like racism, homophobia, ableism, sexism, and transphobia.

Education is the great equalizer; removing barriers so that all students, no matter their background, ability, age, gender, or sexual identity, can access it will create a more equitable and inclusive world for everyone. No one should be denied an education because they can’t afford it.

Your students’ union directors and staff are also returning to campus and are here to make your life easier! They are doing the very best they can to reimagine and provide services, advocacy, and even campus life for members – I encourage you to reach out to learn how you can get involved, and make the most of your membership benefits!

Students across BC have been working together to make education more affordable and accessible, for the last 45 years. Our dedication to this work is unwavering; your provincial students’ union will continue advocating for increased financial aid, and lower tuition fees, and to make campuses safer, more inclusive spaces for all students.

Students in BC are stronger together – whether you’ve returned to campus or are continuing your studies online, together, we will be the voice for the changes we want to see.

Best of luck in your studies this year!



Melissa Chirino


BCFS Chairperson, Advocate & International student from Curaçao