ASFA Attempts to Increase Fee Levy in Upcoming Elections
Executive Team Restructure Also on This Year’s Ballot
The Arts and Science Federation of Associations is looking to raise their fee levy to $1.40 per credit in the upcoming general elections later this month.
Despite representing the largest amount of students at over 20,000, ASFA has the lowest fee levy compared to the other faculty associations at $1.22 per credit, where it has been since 2008.
ASFA President Jonathan Roy said that the demand to increase the fee levy stems from a need to supply ASFA’s member associations with the ability to provide for their students.
“Our fee levy has lagged behind all the other faculty associations’ fee levies,” said Roy. “It’s about being able to have the resources that we want to provide the services that students want.”
Liberal Arts councillor Robert Young is hoping that the money gained in a fee levy increase will lead to an increase in the executives’ honorariums. Last year the executives made an average of $2,500 each at the end of their mandate.
“The main issue being that at the moment it’s sort of prohibitive for someone who has to work consistently to be able to also [be an executive,” Young said.
Roy said that on average, ASFA executives work about 15 hours a week.
The $0.18 cent per credit increase becomes roughly $70,000 more that ASFA will have in its operating budget for the full year, according Young.
ASFA’s hasn’t had a great reputation around Concordia since 2015, when Mei-Ling, a former student politician at ASFA, spoke out about the sexism and racism she faced as a executive.
Since then, ASFA has asked for seven fee levy increases, with all but one attempt turned down. The only time it was approved, the referendum questions had to be asked again because a confusion with what was being voted on.
ASFA asked for a fee levy increase during last year’s general election and despite the fact that the elections were invalidated, the fee levy increase was voted down.
In response to the criticisms about ASFA’s reputation on campus, Roy said that his goal when he was elected was to give back to its members and proving that ASFA is more than “just a party institution.”
In past years, cutting down money spent on frosh, ASFA’s orientation party at the beginning of every academic year, and moving that money to the member associations has been proposed. Earlier in the year, ASFA put a $150 cap of spending per student attending. Now, that cap may be reduced to $50-75 per student, according to Young.
Young is optimistic that ASFA will be able to convince students to vote in favour of the fee levy increase due to the fact that their vision for what they’ll be doing with the money is very clear.
Also in the upcoming elections, ASFA will be looking to restructure the way its executive team will work. If the referendum vote passes, the president and vice-presidents will become coordinators, and their mandates will be modified.
- President becomes Executive and Advocacy Coordinator
- Vice President of Internal Affairs becomes Internal Affairs and Administration Coordinator
- Vice President of Finance becomes Finance Coordinator
- Vice President Social becomes Student Life Coordinator
- Vice Presidents of Loyola and Sustainability merge to become Loyola and Sustainability Coordinator
- Vice Presidents of External Affairs and Communications merge to become External Affairs and Communications Coordinator
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