Efting hits high note

November 27, 2003, vol. 28, no. 7

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Fourth year history student and Solidarity Notes Labour choir member Jennifer Efting is singing a happy tune after being named this year's winner of the B.C. Federation of Labour award for students in labour studies.

Efting, a soprano in the popular Vancouver choir, recently received the $500 award in recognition of her strong academic record and her activities in the social justice movement. In addition to singing at union conventions and political rallies, her volunteer efforts include serving on the national youth committee of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, and organizing for the 250-member strong Bus Riders' union.

In 2001, Efting helped create the Bus Riders' union, modelled on a similar union in Los Angeles, to advocate for better public transit and lower fares. “Buses are a huge social justice issue,” she says. “Because it tends to be marginalized people who depend on them to get around.” She says the efforts of this grassroots union helped bring back some of Vancouver's late night buses after they were cancelled by TransLink in 2001.

After graduation next spring, Efting hopes “to continue working for social justice, perhaps as a union organizer. This is a lifelong commitment for me.” Meanwhile, her award “makes being a student just a little bit easier.”

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