U-Pass renewal referendum passes


Students vote 91% in favour of continuing universal transit pass program

Upass Approved!
(Courtesy of The Link)

BCIT students have approved the renewal of the U-Pass program for another three years.

Despite initial technical difficulties, 91 per cent of those who voted cast their ballots in favour of the renewal in a referendum that took place from February 15 to 26.

2,561 students voted in the referendum, down from 3,367 when the U-Pass program was initially proposed in January of 2011. Despite the dip in voter participation, approval did climb six points from 85 per cent.

BCIT Student Association VP-External Mike Hanson, who helped broker the deal, was pleased with the results over all.

“It is important that decisions like this, which impact students, can be made by students.” said Hanson. “We would like to thank all those involved who made their vote count.”

The referendum was originally set to take place between February 15 and 22, but the voting period was extended after BCIT’s voting system crashed several times.

The 400-450 students who voted in the first four hours after polls opened had to re-cast their ballots as a result of the system failure.

The voting system remained out of service for the weekend but went live again on Tuesday, February 19, only to crash again the following morning.

Voting was extended four days to make up for lost time.

BCIT joins UBC, Douglas College, and Vancouver Community College, whose students renewed the program by overwhelming majorities (87 to 97 per cent) in their respective referenda, all of which took place at the end of January.

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