The CSU has dreams of CapU being a party school, but is that what students want?

Devon Simpson, Contributor

On paper CapRocks sounds amazing. Our hard-working Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has created a concert on campus with a great lineup, alcohol and tons of food trucks. In reality, however, it is just another case of a Canadian students’ union wasting money on an event that the majority of CapU students won’t attend, and some won’t even know is taking place.

You can’t blame the good intentions of fellow students who want to put just a sprinkle of pride and entertainment into our awesome university, but is that really their job? The CSU isn’t the only students’ union to have wasted money on large-scale events. MacLean’s number one on their list of “6 stupid ways student unions used your money” was “spending it on big parties you didn’t attend.” Compared to the University of Windsor’s Student Alliance losing $40,000 booking Avicii, the CSU’s CapRocks isn’t much, coming in at $30,000, which was paid for by sponsors.

Here’s the thing, each semester a CapU student on the North Vancouver Campus enrolled in 4 courses pays the CSU $149.43. If you want to see the breakdown of these fees and others that you pay for (including this newspaper at $1.34 per credit, thanks by the way!) check out the Incidental Fees page on the University’s website.

Student unions may seem irrelevant to the average student, but they are not. Each semester every student pays this mandatory fee to the CSU and whether you voted or not there are now CapU student representatives who get paid by you to decide what to do with your money. One of the things that the CSU has chosen to do with this money is host a large concert. Unlike Captivate it was admission-based with close to 300 tickets sold, about four per cent of CapU’s student body, but not even all of the tickets sold were to students.

At the end of the day CapU is a commuter school and is not the end game as most students transfer out to larger universities. Events such as Captivate and CapRocks are excessive. Though they may help new students get more of a traditional university experience they are not worth it in the long run. The CSU should be spending their budget on things that will benefit the majority of students in their education. Things that will aid in developing new skills to enhance our resumes, help students access advice they require for their future, provide activities and recreation and ultimately be the voice of the students. Sorry, but this student is presently focused on her academic future not a concert on campus – there are summer music festivals that are going to fill that void.

***This article was updated Jan. 23, 2019 to correct an error that implied that student fees paid for CapRocks, when it was in fact paid for by sponsors. We apologize for the confusion.***


  1. Hi Devon, I just wanted to let you know that CapRocks was actually paid for through sponsors for Capilano University’s 50th anniversary, and therefore the budget did not come out of your CSU fees!

  2. Perhaps, but they are spent on the salaries and manhours spent planning such an even. Gotta look at the bigger picture you know.

  3. We have launched a campus wide petition on behalf of a group of concerned students over CSU spending, mismanagement by its president and executive, and because the CSU has failed to followthrough with students who have emailed and requested in person for CSU services from executives, board members, and staff. We are concerned that the CSU is only out to service the students who are elected into their roles. We see this in the expensive overnight trips, conventions, and seminars that their board and staff attend..We are tired and angry of their executive team padding their resumes and using student dollars to make themselves look good while failing to make real change on campus by responding to student requests for appeals, changes, advocacy, and planning which actually affect us as students for the positive. The image the CSU gives students is that of a corporation which is focused on profiting off of students with a healthy cash flow and distributing that money to their staff and executive, while cozying up with the administration of the university and doing nothing to help students, or listen to students.

    We are going to submit our campus wide petition to CSU President, Anna Rempel, who is also listed as an individual in the petition who has refused to answer student emails and requests. We are asking 1) the CSU implement a policy that all student requests are followed up with through email in within 72 hours, 2) students have their requests followed through by the correct individual, and 3) if the university is not supporting students, the CSU then respond to the student explaining how they are going to incorporate these gaps into communications with the university.

    The CSU is letting down students, and there are extensive amounts of emails that we have collected proving that the current board, executive, and staff have not followed their responsibilities to students.

    Deletion of this comment will be considered an act of censoring criticism of the CSU by students.

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