History

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Serving You Throughout History

1968: York Student Council comes into being under John Adams, who starts as a moderate, but eventually threatens to "bring the revolution to York". The Board of Governors responds by decreasing the funding to the central student union and increasing funding to the colleges in an attempt to keep power decentralized.

1970-72: Student Representation is passive and bureaucratic. Very little interest is taken by students at large.

1973: The United Left Coalition (ULC) is born, running candidates in elections and promoting basic student rights, political actions and organized opposition to the administration.

1975: Dale Rich, of the ULC, is elected as the President of the Council of York Student Federations. He funds the Women's Centre, organizes against funding cuts, works with labour groups on campus and creates a club funding system.

1978: A group of 214 students occupy York President Ian Macdonald's office to support the first strike of the York University Staff Association.

1979: Andrea Doucet, student representative to the Board of Governors notes, "the late seventies are neither a time for protest or confession, it is a time of contention and content". Translation students sat back as tuition fees rose and funding went down.

1980's: Students' interest in politics hits an all time low, with the average voter turnout between 1984 and 1987 at less than 1,000 people.

1988-89: Students solidify their involvement with Canadian Federation of Students, gain a health plan and the YFS builds the Student Centre.

1990: Over 600 students crash a Board of Governors meeting to successfully protest a residence fee increase. Clubs hold protest in Central Square dubbed the 'Ironing Board Protest' in response to the banning of clubs information tables in this area. 

1991: Over 300 students protest the harassment of black students by York security, culminating in a three hour takeover of the President's office and an eventual showdown between the students and the top ranks of the administration. Out of this protest the students saw their demand for a second advisor to the Centre for Race and Ethnic Relations (this office no longer exists).

1992: Students with the cooperation of faculty and staff successfully thwart further corporatization of York by blocking the bid for an International Space University.

1993: The York Federation of Students launches the largest student union sponsored anti-homophobia campaign.

1995: 1,000 students strike at York as part of the Canadian Federation of Students National Student Strike picketing all entrances of the university. The public support for the students killed the Income indexed loans plan the federal government had in mind.

1997: The YFS negotiates a student discount plan for the first time with the TTC.

2000: YFS implements the Canadian Federation of Students ACCESS 2000 campaign which successfully limits the amount that Universities can increase tuition to 2% per year. The Student Advocacy Service is created by the YFS in order protect students' academic rights.

2001: The York Federation of Students representing the 35,000 undergraduate student population show solidarity with the CUPE 3903 TA union by pressuring the administration, participating in pickets and boycotting classes. After three months of striking CUPE 3903 is victorious in the labour dispute.

2003: Students occupy the President's office after four students are arrested for participating in an International Students Day of Action against the War in Iraq. The YFS under Mike Novak cancels the yearly elections.

2004: 5000 students sign a petition asking for annual YFS elections to be held. The YFS, lead by Paul Cooper and the University administration ignores the petition. Cooper consults with lawyers about dissolving the YFS after the Progress Not Politics coalition looses the student elections.

2005: The campus erupts with anger when Police beatings in Vari Hall send two students to the hospital. In response to the incident the YFS holds a press conference in Vari Hall and airs the video of the beatings on national TV, radio, and print media present. YFS successfully lobbies the TTC Commission to make the VIP Discount program permanent.

2006: YFS launches the highly successful "This is Student Space Campaign" that reversed the moratorium on the use of Vari Hall.

2007: The YFS engages and becomes a partner in the hearings on the Task Force on the needs of Muslim Students. The report was released on March 21, 2007, The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

2012: YFS successfully lobbies the York University administration to phase out the sale of bottled water at York by September of 2015.

2013: YFS successfully lobbies the York University Registrar to decrease the enrolment deposit by $150, changing the University’s status as one of the highest enrolment deposits in the country. 

2013: The students’ union and the Student Centre come together in referenda to build a new student centre to accommodate the university’s growing size. Voter turnout is almost 10,000 with a 92% Yes-vote via paper ballot, making this one of the most successful student referendums in Canada.