ASFA 2016 By-Election Breakdown
ASFA to Fill Empty Executive Position and Looking to Increase Fee-Levy
Voting for the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations by elections will begin this week and run from Nov. 28-30. ASFA represents about 20,000 students within Concordia’s Arts and Sciences programs
This time the executive position of Vice-President of Communications and Promotions is open since the impeachment of Megha Sandhu. ASFA is also making another attempt to increase their fee-levy. Quorum for the by-election is 500 undergraduate students.
”Do you as a member of the ASFA, agree to increase the fee levy by $0.12/credit, from $1.22/credit to $1.34/credit, to be adjusted annually in accordance with the Montreal Consumer Price Index, effective the beginning of the semester of Winter 2017?”
For the third time in less than a year, ASFA undergraduates will vote on a fee-levy increase for their association. Their fee-levy has not been increased since 2008.
The main thing ASFA wants to do, should the fee-levy increase, is to give member associations more money in order to hold more events, including having better speakers at talks, better workshops and so on, said Current VP Finance, Christina Massaro.
“We just don’t have enough money to give [the member associations],” she added.
She also said that ASFA would like to pay their CEO and polling clerks more than they do now.
“It works out to $12 more over the course of your whole undergrad, but for us, it makes a difference,” Massaro said. “It makes a difference for the [member associations], it makes a difference for the people we can actually give proper honorariums.”
The Link previously reported that not everyone was on board with raising the fee-levy, instead advocating for budget restructuring, and cutting money from the Frosh budget.
“There is a lot of this discussion in basic administration overhead, but most of those are fixed costs that we’ve spent several years trying to minimize and they’re as low as they can get,” Robert Young president of the Liberal Arts Society told The Link in a previous interview.
In the March 2016 elections, student voted “yes” and gave ASFA a $.014 per credit fee-levy increase. After a miscommunication with students on what was being voted on in terms of restructuring ASFA, all votes went to ballot again, and students voted down the increase.
Andrea Gauthier (Vice President of Communications and Promotions)
Gauthier is a first year political science student. She has three years of previous experience as a councillor for the Champlain College Student Association. Gauthier plans on being available for ASFA at council meetings, and following through on her campaign promises throughout her mandate.
Gauthier wants to push for consent training, and sex education training.
“I don’t think that consent is a women’s issue, or men’s issue. It’s everyone’s issue,” she said. “If you don’t make everyone a part of the solution, then you’re not going to arrive to a solution.”
Gauthier also wants to be eco friendly as part of her mandate. She added that from her personal experience, events get a higher turnout when they are promoted on social media platforms rather than just posters.
Georgios Simeonidis (Independent Councillor)
Simeonidis is returning for his second degree at Concordia. When studying for his first degree, he was the vice president of finance of the Association of Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergraduate Students, ABACUS for the 2014-2015 academic year. He was also involved in ABACUS’ transition into the Concordia Undergraduate Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physic Students, CUBCAPS.
“That gave me experience in branching out and being able to listen to the needs of a larger group of students,” Simeonidis said. “I hope to expand on that by tending to the needs of everyone within the Arts & Science faculty.”
If elected as a councillor, Simeonidis wants to represent the students as best as he can by listening and discussing with other students within the arts and sciences, so he can get their voices heard during ASFA councils. However, since he has been previously an ASFA councillor under ABACUS, he understands that the limits that prevent making everyone happy.
“ASFA has provided me with years of service, and each year our council members seem to outdo themselves and continue to grow as a well-oiled machine,” Simeonidis said. “I want to be part of that growth and give back as much as I can.”