International students at the University of Calgary can now connect with the university community through a new advocacy club.
The yet-to-be named club will advocate on issues unique to international students to the SU.
“A student approached me right before my term started. She wanted to talk about how the Students’ Union represents the interests and concerns of international students,” said SU president Jarett Henry. “What we decided on together was that she was going to start up a club for international students in order to represent their interests and things that they’re concerned with.”
International students were involved in a number of contentious topics on campus last year, including the international college proposal and the push for more halal food options. There are approximately 2,600 international undergraduate students on campus. Administration hopes to increase that number by 1,400 by 2016.
While the club does not focus on any one concern, Henry said their advocacy will be helpful in the future.
“For this year, one thing we’re working on is regulating international student tuition,” Henry said, adding that international students at the University of Alberta saw their tuition rise by five per cent with no warning this year. “While domestic student tuition can only rise by consumer price index each year, international student tuition is completely unregulated.” Besides advocacy, the club will offer events and services that the University does not.
“We can’t do a ski trip. An international club could,” said U of C International Student Advisor Matt Knox. “Based on copyright laws, they can have a movie night. We can’t.”