The University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) wishes to commend the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Government of Saskatchewan for demonstrating significant leadership and stepping in to provide support for the students of Saskatchewan. URSU welcomes the announcement of $1.5 million in emergency aid funding for post-secondary students. It will provide much needed relief for students who are not eligible for government funding on the provincial or federal level through other emergency measures instituted because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. URSU has been advocating for funding of this nature for some time as we anticipated and saw an increase in students applying for URSU’s own Emergency Bursary Fund.
It is encouraging to see the Government of Saskatchewan following the lead of other provinces and acknowledge the economic vulnerability of students, as most are not able to work enough hours to be eligible for Employment Insurance. However, there is some concern that the aid allocated for this program may be reduced upon announcement of any similar program on the federal level. We would also like to see the Government of Saskatchewan dialogue with organizations that work closely with students but are not educational institutions themselves to ensure any further financial aid benefits as many students as possible.
We hope that institutions which work closely with students will be involved with the distribution of support so that they can reach students in a timely fashion. It is part of our mandate to alleviate the financial stresses of students wherever and whenever we can, whether it be through services like our URSU Cares Food Pantry or supports like our Project, Event, and Conference funding. We are here for our members, the students of the University of Regina and its Federated Colleges, and we pride ourselves on our abilities to deliver support in an efficient and timely manner.