Alternative Transportation Options for Students for Monday, November 12

Hey STUdents! As some of you may know, this upcoming Monday, November 12th, Fredericton Transit will not be running in lieu of Remembrance Day however, unfortunately the university has decided to still run classes on Monday.

As a result of this decision, the STUSU wishes to highlight some other transportation options for students who ordinarily rely on Fredericton Transit to get to campus.

  1. The “Share My Ride” Facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2026443044304407/. Through this Facebook group students can connect in order to carpool to campus on Monday.

  2. In the evening, we encourage students to take advantage of SafeRide, the free ride service the STUSU operates in conjunction with the UNB Student Union. SafeRide begins running at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 11:30 p.m. Students can be picked up at James Dunn Hall, the Student Union Building or Head Hall and can be driven home anywhere within the SafeRide radius. Your student ID must be presented in order to take SafeRide.

  3. Finally, the STUSU has partnered with Checker Cab in order to provide $5 cab coupons to students who must cab to campus. Students can pick up these coupons from the Help Desk between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

In addition, if students are concerned about academic commitments for Monday and none of the above transportation options will work for you, the STUSU encourages you to reach out to tyour professors to see if accommodations can be made for any work that may be missed on Monday due to the transportation issue.

Best Regards,

Brianna Workman

STUSU President

su_president@stu.ca

STUSU VICE-PRESIDENT EDUCATION ELECTED TO CASA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

FREDERICTON, N.B. – Last week at the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) Foundations Conference, STUSU Vice-President Education, Emma Walsh, was elected to serve as the Director at Large, Advocacy, on CASA’s Board of Directors for the upcoming year.
“I am immensely honoured to have been selected to represent not only STU students, but students all across Canada for the coming year. As Director at Large, Advocacy, I plan on engaging students on a grassroots level through meaningful campaigns while effectively communicating the wants and needs of students in the postsecondary sector to the federal government,” said Emma Walsh, STUSU Vice-President Education.

CASA is a non-profit, non-partisan, student federal advocacy organization composed of 22 member student associations from across Canada, including the STUSU. CASA was established in 1995 and has since advocated for a postsecondary education sector in Canada that is accessible, affordable, innovative and one that delivers a high quality education.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to emphasize what the STUSU has to offer, and to take a more active role with CASA, which has benefited our students in numerous ways,” Walsh continued.

CASA Executive Director, Manjeet Birk, also commented on Walsh’s election to the Board.

“Every year, STUSU brings enthusiastic and hardworking individuals to CASA, to make sure their students’ concerns are heard at the federal level of government. Emma’s clear dedication to her students and passion for advocacy work has shown us that she will certainly be no exception, and we are sure she will be an incredible asset to our Board of Directors as we press for changes in the postsecondary system this year,” said Manjeet Birk, CASA Executive Director.

“Given our involvement at both the provincial and federal level, it is clear that the STUSU is going to have an exceptionally strong year in advocacy on behalf of our students,” said Walsh.

 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, STUSU President, su_president@stu.ca, 506-460-0303.

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STUSU RESPONDS TO RELEASE OF STU BUDGET

FREDERICTON, N.B. 一 This morning St. Thomas University released their operating budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The St. Thomas University Students’ Union (STUSU) is disappointed to see that this budget includes a two per cent increase to tuition for domestic students and a five per cent increase to tuition for international students. In addition to this, residence room rates are increasing two per cent and meal plan fees are increasing by 3.2 per cent.

These tuition increases equate to a $132.86 increase to domestic students’ tuition and a $725.15 increase to international students’ tuition.

“As representatives of students, the STUSU is acutely aware of the financial difficulties students face and how these types of increases directly affect the lives of students. As a result, the STUSU entirely opposes the increases to tuition in this year’s budget,” said Emma Walsh, STUSU Vice-President Education.

The STUSU recognizes the university’s difficult financial situation, particularly with the inequity in STU’s operating government grant. We continue to support the university’s efforts in calling upon the provincial government to address this inequity in the grant.

However, we remain particularly concerned about the substantive increases to international students’ tuition, which is already far higher than domestic students’ tuition. This is also paired with the fact that international students’ tuition is not regulated the same way that it is for domestic students.

Though other universities may have much higher tuition for international students in comparison to STU, we strongly encourage the university not to adopt an attitude that these valuable students are merely financially beneficial for the institution.

“There is a common misconception in the postsecondary education sector that international students come from wealthy backgrounds. However, in reality, this is not the case. Though STU presents itself as an affordable and high-quality option for these students, tuition increases like this hinder their ability to properly cost out their education and achieve their goals,” said Husoni Raymond, STUSU Vice-President Administration.

The STUSU looks forward to working with the university in the upcoming year to improve consultation processes surrounding tuition increases. We also hope to work with the university toward ensuring that there is increased financial support for international students, who do not have access to the same financial aid that domestic students do.

“In addition to more concrete consultations processes and financial support, we continue to urge the university to develop a stable and predictable tuition model. For example, with this year’s increase, a fourth-year international student will pay $1,843.15 more in tuition than they paid in their first year. This is a significant increase that many students may not have be able to plan for,” said Brianna Workman, STUSU President.

The STUSU would like to see the introduction of a predictable and stable tuition schedules for all students, both international and domestic. This is especially pertinent given the university’s budgeting process timeline. With this timeline, tuition increases tend to be announced when students are not present on campus, which further reduces their ability to adapt to any changes that are made.

By introducing tuition schedules, the university will assist in mitigating the problems associated with sudden and unaccounted for increases in tuition, and allow students to achieve further financial autonomy while in-study.

 

The St. Thomas University Students’ Union (STUSU) was established over 75 years ago and represents the interests of all students at St. Thomas University.

 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, STUSU President, su_president@stu.ca, 506-460-0303.

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STUSU PRESIDENT NAMED CHAIR OF NEW BRUNSWICK STUDENT ALLIANCE

May 11, 2018

Fredericton, N.B. – STUSU President, Brianna Workman, was recently named Chair of the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA). The outgoing Vice-President Education was elected as STUSU President on March 2 during the STUSU’s spring General Election. During her time as Vice-President Education, Workman also served as Vice-Chair of the NBSA.

“I am also excited to work alongside STUSU Vice-President Education, Emma Walsh, and the rest of the NBSA Board of Directors in this capacity as Chair,” said Workman. “I truly believe that the work the NBSA does for STU students and its other members is some of the most essential and valuable work that we put forth on behalf of our students.”

In recent years, the NBSA’s advocacy has resulted in a wide array of successes for their members. This includes the introduction of the Free Tuition Program and Tuition Relief for the Middle Class, Medicare coverage for international students, and investments in youth employment and experiential learning.

NBSA Executive Director Emily Blue also commented on the election.

“Brianna has already established herself as an integral member of the Board of Directors given her previous experience as Vice-Chair. We are delighted to see that the STUSU has yet again taken a leadership role within the NBSA and I am really looking forward to working under Brianna's direction,” said Blue.

Workman’s new role as Chair marks the first time that a STUSU delegate to the NBSA has served in this capacity.

Media Contact: Emma Walsh, STUSU Vice-President Education, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

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STUSU signs new collective agreement with Workers Union

FREDERICTON, N.B. – The St. Thomas University Students’ Union (STUSU) recently reached a new collective agreement with the Workers Union of the St. Thomas University Students’ Union (WU STUSU) who are part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Both parties are extremely satisfied with the details of the new two-year agreement, which will expire on April 18, 2020.

“We're glad to have come to a mutual agreement with the WU STUSU. This new agreement is the most comprehensive and balanced one since the inception of the WU STUSU and we’re more than happy to have achieved the labour milestone of a $15/hr ‘minimum wage’ within our organization,” said Philippe Ferland, STUSU President.

The employees echoed Ferland’s satisfaction with the new agreement.

“I am very pleased to come to an agreement which will impact student employees for years to come, ensuring that employees' intellectual property claims and academic freedoms are recognized,” said Laura Robinson, WU STUSU President.

Robinson also commented on achieving the milestone of a $15 starting wage and the ability for the STUSU to provide employment that gives students valuable work skills during their degree.

“It has also been a great collaborative effort to bring the first step for wages to $15 on behalf of all involved with the negotiating teams. I believe that this agreement is a great reflection of the STUSU's commitment towards providing excellent on-campus and experiential employment for students.”

Colleen Coffey, Regional Executive Vice-President of PSAC’s Atlantic Region reiterated Ferland and Robinson’s satisfaction with the agreement.

“We are extremely satisfied of this new agreement which raises the ‘minimum wage’ to $15/hour among many other significant improvements. It proves that when a union and management work hand-in-hand, they can achieve an outcome that satisfies both parties.”

As the STUSU prepares to transition a new team of Executives and councillors beginning May 1, Ferland is pleased to leave the STUSU with this agreement at the end of his term and looks forward to both the future of the STUSU and the WU STUSU.

“It's a new step forward in our relationship with our employees and one which will benefit both sides for the duration of the agreement.”

 

The St. Thomas University Students’ Union (STUSU) was established over 75 years ago and represents the interests of all students at St. Thomas University.

The Workers Union of the St. Thomas University Students’ Union (WU STUSU) was established in 2012 and represents the interests of all employees of the STUSU, excluding the General Manager. The WU STUSU is a member of Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) local 60888.

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Media Contacts:

Philippe Ferland, STUSU President, su_president@stu.ca, 506-461-9560.

Laura Robinson, WU STUSU President, hlhld@stu.ca.

Colleen Coffey, Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC-Atlantic, 902-848-6850.

 

Fix St. Thomas operating grant inequity

On January 25, the Gallant Government announced that it had reached memoranda of understandings on multi-year operating grant funding with three provincial universities. Unfortunately, St. Thomas University was unable to join the other universities in signing the MOU. 

The St. Thomas University Students’ Union (STUSU) supports St. Thomas University because of our responsibility to represent the best interests of St. Thomas students. We recognize that the historic inequity in STU’s operating grant has had a negative effect on students and we call on the government to address this issue.

Over the years, a wealth of data has made it clear that St. Thomas’ operating grant is not equitable in comparison to other public universities in the province. As representatives of students, we know that the result of this underfunding impacts St. Thomas students, particularly when it comes to the cost of their tuition.

St. Thomas University’s operating grant is 89% of the provincial average in terms of operating grant per-weighted full-time student. This means that each year, STU’s operating grant is $1.4 million lower than it should be. Unfortunately, this backs the STU administration into a corner and they may be forced to raise tuition.

Despite the financial constraints imposed by the operating grant, STU has made frugal fiscal decisions to keep costs as low as possible for students. In fact, they have been successful in maintaining affordable tuition within both the context of the province and Atlantic Canada.

St. Thomas’ operating grant also fails to address a vast amount of program growth at STU. This includes programs such as majors in Criminology, Journalism, Communications and Public Policy, Science and Technology Studies, Gerontology and Human Rights. The grant has also not accounted for the Bachelor of Social Work and Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work program. St. Thomas students know immediately from seeing this list that these are some of the most popular programs. This makes the fact that the grant has not been adjusted to accommodate these programs extremely disappointing.

In addition, 73% of STU students are from New Brunswick. This begs the question of how the government can justify to New Brunswick taxpayers underfunding a university that so many New Brunswickers attend? The St. Thomas University community also has a high percentage of low-income and first generation students. Also, over 8% of the STU student body is made up by Indigenous students, which is well above the national average in Canadian postsecondary institutions. It is clear from looking at these types of representation that make up the STU student body that the inequity in public funding is even more pointed and disappointing.

The STUSU believes the government should support St. Thomas students the same way it supports students studying at any of the other three public universities. It is for these reasons that the STUSU stands with the university in their call for the government to address this long-standing issue with the operating grant.

Overall, the matter of inequity in St. Thomas’ public funding begs an extremely obvious and fundamental question for all St. Thomas students to pose – Why is my education as a St. Thomas student worth less than students at other universities when it comes to public funding?

This question is one the Government of New Brunswick has still not answered. On behalf of all STU students, we are waiting for an answer.

 

Brianna Workman

STUSU Vice-President Education

 

Publication in the Daily Gleaner, Telegraph Journal and Times and Transcript on February 7, 2018: 

https://www.telegraphjournal.com/daily-gleaner/story/100504218/commentary-stu-funding-inequity

STUSU Responds to the Government of New Brunswick’s Memorandum of Understandings with Publicly Funded Universities  

FREDERICTON, N.B. – In conjunction with St. Thomas University, the St. Thomas University Students’ Union (STUSU) is disappointed that St. Thomas University cannot sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of New Brunswick on tuition and funding at this time.

As the STUSU is tasked with representing the interests of all St. Thomas students, we join the university in support of the decision not to sign the MOU due to the impacts that this inequity in public funding has had, and continues to have, on St. Thomas students.

“The wealth of data accumulated over the years makes it clear that St. Thomas’ operating grant is not equitable in comparison to other public universities in the province. As representatives of students, we know that the result of this underfunding greatly impacts St. Thomas students in their day to day lives and this is an issue that needs to be addressed,” said Philippe Ferland, STUSU President.

St. Thomas University’s operating grant currently stands at 89% of the provincial average in terms of operating grant per-weighted full-time student. This means that each year, STU’s operating grant is $1.4 million lower than it should be.

The operating grant also fails to address a variety of STU’s program growth since 1978-79. This includes programs such as majors in Criminology, Journalism, Communications and Public Policy, Science and Technology Studies, Gerontology and Human Rights. The grant has also not accounted for the Bachelor of Social Work and Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work program.

In addition, 73% of St. Thomas students are from New Brunswick and the St. Thomas University community includes a high percentage of low-income and first generation students. Also, over 8% of the STU student body is made up by Indigenous students, which is a percentage well above the national average. It is clear from looking at these types of representation within the STU student body, that these realizations make the inequity in public funding even more pointed and disappointing.

“The matter of inequity in St. Thomas’ public funding begs an extremely obvious and fundamental question for all St. Thomas students to pose – Why is my education as a St. Thomas student worth less than students at other public universities when it comes to public funding?” said Brianna Workman, STUSU Vice-President Education.

As an organization that represents STU students, the STUSU is well aware of the quality of education that is achieved at St. Thomas University. This is why students would like to see the importance of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick’s postsecondary sector reflected in its operating grant.

The STUSU believes the government should support St. Thomas students in a similar way it supports students studying at any of the other three public universities.

It is for these reasons that the STUSU stands with the university in their call for the government to address this long-standing issue with STU’s operating grant, that has had great impacts on the entire St. Thomas community.

The STUSU encourages students to reach out should they have any questions. We remain committed to our students and will strive to update them on this process when there is information to share.

 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, STUSU Vice-President Education, 613-294-1263, su_vped@stu.ca.

 

 

Statement condemning white Nationalist posters placed on-campus

This statement was released in the Aquinian's full article on this issue. 

"The Student Union executive has been unequivocal in our intolerance of prejudice within the St Thomas community. We are dismayed that such bigotry has been normalised to this extent and are disgusted at this blatant display of hate and White nationalism.

We condemn this anti-Indigenous oppression and shall continue to fight against the racist tendencies within our community.

We remain committed to overcoming the barriers to deconolisation on our campus. We remain devoted to the Indigenous members of this community and their inviolable right to study and live without discrimination at St Thomas."

See the Aquinian's full story here: http://theaquinian.net/white-supremacist-posters-campus/

Universities and student unions partner to host Sustainable Development Goals Youth Training this fall

September 12, 2017

FREDERICTON, N.B. – Student unions at St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), along with faculty and staff from both universities, are partnering with the United Nations accredited Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) to host a unique training opportunity for youth in Fredericton this fall.

In celebration of Canada 150, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Training Canada aims to mobilize 10,000 Canadian youth to implement the Sustainable Development Goals through 100 local actions and 50 trainings in colleges and universities across Canada.

“Learning opportunities like these are invaluable to students who not only care about making a difference in the world but are looking for something to set them apart in an increasingly competitive job market,” said Jimy Beltran, STUSU, Vice-President Student Life and Event Organizer.

On October 21, local high school and postsecondary students will attend a day of training focused on empowering them to implement the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by the United Nations. The training will allow students to interact with UN and FES officials, policymakers, faculty members and community activists, as they receive training in skills related to reaching these goals. Participants will be provided with lunch and receive a certificate acknowledging their training.

"The Student Union is incredibly excited to partner and support the UN-SDG initiative this year,” said Herbert Bempah, President, UNBSU. “As students, it is in our best interest to contribute to the conversation about solutions to world issues such as climate change, economic inequality, sustainable consumption, peace and justice."

The organizers of the event are grateful to the sponsors and partners who have supported to make the sustainable goals more accessible. These sponsors include: NB Power, STU Students’ Union, STU Office of Experiential and Community based Learning, UNB Faculty of Arts and UNB Students’ Union.

Tickets are $20 and cover the day-long training, certificate and lunch. To purchase tickets, see http://bit.ly/2w10aAa.

For more information, visit www.unsdgfredericton.com or contact Jimy Beltran at frederictonsdg@gmail.com.

Media Contact: Emily DesRoches, Communications Coordinator, Fredericton SDG, frederictonsdg@gmail.com. 

STUSU Vice-President Administration elected Campus Trust Chair

June 23, 2017

FREDERICTON, N.B. – This week, at the Campus Trust’s annual Assembly of Participating Organizations, STUSU’s Vice-President Administration, Matt LeBlanc, was elected Student Chair of the Campus Trust.

The Campus Trust operates with a Board of Governors comprised of 10 people – both student and management representatives – from the various member student organizations. The Campus Trust represents 40,000 students from 13 member student organizations in Canada.

LeBlanc is the first student leader from New Brunswick to hold the Student Chair position since the formation of the organization in 1998.

“It is a profound honour to be elected Student Chair of the Campus Trust. There is no issue more critical than maintaining and improving the quality and affordability of student health coverage. The Campus Trust is the bedrock for producing fair and empowered student health plans,” said Matt LeBlanc, Vice-President Administration, STUSU. “I’m itching to help lead the Trust into its promising future.”

This is the fourth year the STUSU has been working with Campus Trust to provide high quality health and dental coverage to its members at the lowest prices possible.

“We have a very involved group this year so it’s going to be a chance for real internal change,” said LeBlanc. “This is a big year for the Trust and it seems like we’re putting a lot more control into the hands of students.”

In his role as Student Chair, LeBlanc will work closely with the newly elected Management Chair, Candace Heigh of the University of Prince Edward Island Students’ Union (UPEISU), to provide a structural framework to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Campus Trust next year.

LeBlanc will also be closely communicating and engaging with the entire Campus Trust membership throughout the summer and academic year.

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

Editorial got it wrong

Letter to the editor, The Daily Gleaner

Published: June 15, 2017

The June 3 editorial, headlined "Sliding scale solves issue", called for a sliding scale to the Tuition Access Bursary (TAB) that the government first announced in April 2016. 

However, in February 2017 the government introduced the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class (TRMC), which the Gleaner covered on the front page of their February 24 edition. The TRMC is, in fact, the sliding scale for which the editorial called. 

That this editorial could be published without due diligence to proper research and fact-checking is entire irresponsible of the Daily Gleaner. It is also a perfect example of why New Brunswick media needs journalists who are well-informed and up-to-date on postsecondary education issues in the province. Postsecondary education is one of the largest budgets for the provincial government and a key driver in the economy. This sector, and the more than 10,000 college and university students in the City of Fredericton, deserve consistent and correct coverage by local media. 

For New Brunswick students who may have been confused by this editorial, please note: the tuition grant programs do include a sliding scale—it's called the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class. 

Brianna Workman

Vice-President Education, St. Thomas University Students' Union

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

STUSU and UNBSU support tri-campus sexual assault strategy

June 6, 2017

FREDERICTON, N.B. – Last Thursday at the Student Union Building, representatives from St. Thomas University (STU), the University of New Brunswick – Fredericton (UNB) and New Brunswick Community College (NBCC), signed a multi-year partnership agreement with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to develop a sexual assault strategy on all three campuses.

The reasoning behind this strategy is the acknowledgement that sexual assault is not contained to a single institution. STUSU and UNBSU acknowledge that because of this and due to the close proximity of the three schools, a strategy to combat sexual assault should not be restricted to one institution either.

“By collaborating with the other schools and the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre, they each improve the effectiveness of their response to sexual violence within the community,” says Philippe Ferland, President, STUSU. “This also facilities a clear and informed voice on the topic.”

The three-year commitment will cost a total of $240,000 – about $80,000 per year. This investment enhances the partnership with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to create progressive strategies surrounding the multi-faceted problem of sexual assault.

These strategies include: support and advocacy on behalf of complainants, promoting public awareness, and developing training for staff and student leaders. The plan includes four pillars which are the following: prevention, intervention and response, education, and research and evaluation.

“Our student unions will continue to partner with the university to create a campus where sexual violence is not tolerated, where the discussion of sexual assault is de-stigmatized and where students are educated about the resources available for sexual assault survivors,” said Herbert Bempah, President, UNBSU.

The new strategy also maintains Maggie Forsythe's full time position as the Campus Sexual Assault Support Advocate.

“The STUSU pleased to see the three neighboring institutions working together on this strategy to combat sexual assault on campus,” says Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU. “This year Maggie was an invaluable resource on our campus and we our extremely happy that this strategy includes funding to maintain her position and presence on-campus.”

The strategy will be reviewed and assessed in two years. The STUSU and UNBSU look forward to working with their institutions on these initiatives and seeing the impact they will have on students on all three campuses. 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.

Senate passes certificate in experiential learning and community engagement

May 9, 2017

Fredericton, N.B. –On May 4, St. Thomas University’s Senate passed a Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. Expected for September 2017, STU students will be able to work towards this certificate during their degree.

The certificate will be recorded on a student’s transcript and students have their entire degree to complete the requirements for the certificate. The certificate incorporates both in-class learning and community service and according to the proposal submitted to Senate on the certificate it recognizes, “Both formal and informal off-campus, unpaid community engagement opportunities.”

The requirements for the certificate stipulate that a student must successfully complete the following two requirements. First, the student must complete nine credit hours from a list of courses approved by the Registrar, in which the student must meet the experiential learning and/or community engagement requirement in each course. Second, the student must gain 30 hours of community service, and complete the reflection and critical thinking exercises.

The proposal outlines the reasoning for having this certificate as follows, “Increasingly, students are seeking a university experience that affords them the opportunity to develop tangible skills. […] Experiential learning serves to compliment student skill acquisition and better prepare them for life after graduation.”

The proposal for the certificate also mentions how this certificate was created as a result of experiential learning being identified as a priority for both the university and the Province of New Brunswick.

The STUSU is pleased to see the university taking a step in the right direction with initiatives such as this that expand and recognize the work of students both inside and outside of the classroom. The tangible skills and experience gained through experiential learning opportunities are invaluable experiences for all students. The STUSU looks forward to continuing to work with the university on experiential learning projects and to promote this new certificate to students.

In addition, the STUSU looks forward to working towards expanding this certificate in order to reach a broader recognition from the university for the diverse experiential learning opportunities STU students engage in. 

Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, su_vped@stu.ca, 506-452-0627.