ASFA Councillor Appointed as Election CEO Ahead of By-Elections

Executives Again Propose Fee-Levy Increase

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations appointed Fiona Harrison-Roberts from the Journalism Student Association as interim-CEO until the position can be permanently filled. File Photo Tristan D’Amours

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations by-elections begin at the end of the month and the position of Chief Electoral Officer had yet to be filled. On Thursdays regular meeting, ASFA council opted to vote a councillor on an interim basis until the role can be permanently filled by someone not on council.

According to ASFA Internal Affairs and Administration Coordinator Elliot Boulanger, no applications were received for the position. As a result, Boulanger said they decided to take upon the responsibility of the CEO position themselves.

“I want to be clear, I’m still trying to find someone to fill the CEO position,” said Boulanger. “I don’t [want to do it].”

“It’s not the ideal situation on any level but the election has to happen.”

The ASFA council said the lack of promotion for the position through social media as well as ASFA’s newsletter led to the position not being filled.

Instead of voting Boulanger into the CEO position, ASFA council opted to hold a vote for a councillor to fill the roll on an interim basis instead.

Having either an executive or councillor in the position of CEO goes against ASFA’s electoral regulations, which prohibits current or former councillors, executives as well as any member elected or appointed to a position within the association to work as the election CEO.

Council, however, chose to notwithstand the clause within their regulations, and appointed Fiona Harrison-Roberts from the Journalism Student Association as interim-CEO until the position can be filled on a permanent basis.

“If council decides to hire this person [and] approve this person to fill the CEO position, then there is absolutely no conflict of interest,” said ASFA Chair Rory Blaisdell. “Because it was council’s decision to put that person in that role.”

Fee-Levy Increase

ASFA’s by-elections—which will take place through online voting on My.Concordia—are set to take place from Nov. 27 to the 29. On Thursday’s meeting Finance Coordinator Caleb Owusu-Acheaw and Advocacy and Executive Coordinator Margureite Rolland presented to council their proposed fee-levy increase in the upcoming elections.

Rolland mentioned that ASFA’s fee-levy hasn’t been updated since 2009, and proposed an 18 cent increase to to the current fee-levy, bringing it up to $1.40 per credit. Rolland added the increase would give ASFA a budget of $456,000.

“This question was asked at the last elections and it lost by three votes,” said Rolland. “At the last elections […] there was basically no information distributed to students as to why we needed this money.”

The proposed increase marks the eighth time ASFA has attempted to raise their fee-levy—their last seven attempts were turned down. The only time it was approved, in March 2018 the referendum question had to be asked again due to a “confusion to what was being voted on.”

If voted, Rolland said that none of the money would be going to their committee budgets or Frosh. ASFA plans to bring an extra $32,000 to members associations budget, $10,000 to special project funding, as well as $16,320 to the associations operating budget.

Within the proposed increase for the operating budget, Rolland said they want to increase the current honorarium for executives by $1,000 as well as create an assistant coordinator position for both the Finance and Internal Coordinator.