student “choice” initiative

Maintain Your Membership!


The Student “Choice” Initiative removes collective membership dues for student-run groups and organizations. It makes fees that students have voted on through democratic referenda optional. It will reduce the ability of students’ unions to represent and provide services for their members.



Essential services offered by your students’ union will be jeopardized, including:

  • Program and faculty associations;
  • Independent student media;
  • Academic and support services;
  • Financial supports for student clubs, societies and groups;
  • Services such as skills-building workshops and professional development opportunities; and
  • The ability to negotiate labour terms and hold administration accountable.


Who are we?

The YFS is the central undergraduate students union at York University. Separate from the York University Administration, we represent every undergraduate student on the York University Campuses. Our four main pillars are: Campaigns, events, services & clubs; through these pillars, we strive to provide a holistic and all-encompassing university experience for students.

What is the Student Choice Initiative?

In January 2019, the Doug Ford Government announced the establishment of the Student Choice Initiative as part of regressive reforms to post-secondary education. This initiative has introduced guidelines in which incidental levy fees are categorized as either “essential” or “non essential fees.” Unfortunately, this initiative does not enhance choice but puts students in a tough situation given the high cost of living in Ontario and the exorbitant costs of post-secondary education.

The YFS has been assigned an essential rate of 38%. This rate excludes the events, campaigns, equity work, club services, member services, and printing services we provide to our members.

Why should I maintain my membership in the YFS?

The YFS offers many essential services that enhance the student experience at York University. From the largest orientation week in the country, to the cheapest printing on campus [alternatively, provide other important examples from non-essential portfolios], we strive to make sure students feel supported on this campus. We encourage you and your friends to maintain your membership in the YFS so we can continue to provide the same important services to the same capacity as we usually do.

When can I opt-out?

Students have an opportunity to opt out between August 15th and September 18th, 2019.

What happens if I opted-out, but want to opt-back in?

You have until September 18th to opt back into the YFS and any other levy funded organizations you may have opted out.

What can I access if I have opted out?

Students who have maintained their membership will be able to enjoy events and services as they usually would have; events that are usually free will remain free, and they can continue to access our various cost-saving services on campus. Students who have opted-out may be expected to pay entrance fees or increased costs for services in the coming months.

What are the cost savings?

On average, undergraduate students pay around $50/annually depending on the amount of credits you’ve taken. This fee gives you access to every aspect of your Students Union, including the majority of our services, for free or at a very low cost. Opt-ing out means that you are going to have to pay substantially higher rates for services that you would usually be accessing for free.