ASFA Fee-levy Referendum and By-election to Happen in November

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations has voted to have a by-election and referendum for a fee-levy increase by the end of November in a special meeting on Thursday, Oct. 23.

The by-election date is set to be Nov. 25 to 27. The fee-levy referendum is also planned to take place on those days, after the council officially agrees.

The by-election will decide a new VP Academic & Loyola as well as a new VP External. The fee-levy referendum will ask Arts and Science students to approve a $0.38 increase per credit, bringing the ASFA fee-levy to $1.60 per credit.

The association hopes to have the fee-levy increase approved for the upcoming winter semester, in order to offset an expected deficit of $61,690 for the 2014-2015 year. Last year’s deficit was $57,977.

With the expected deficit, ASFA will have to dig into its safeguard funds, which they are supposed to ensure never dips below $150,000.

ASFA president Paul Jerajian says the changes in spending are linked to a restructuring that happened last year.

“Two years ago ASFA worked a lot different financially than it does today,” said Jerajian.

In the past the group would divide that amount it received from its fee-levy, but Jerajian says it’s difficult to budget the money, which is only received in October.

“It didn’t really make sense,” he said.

ASFA receives the majority of its fee-levies in October, which means Frosh and other summer activities are paid from last year’s surplus (if any) and the safeguarded money. Considering the size of Frosh and its $100,000+ price tag, having $150,000 in the bank is ASFA’s “cushion”.

The increase comes approximately five years after the last one to make up for a larger costs and deficits. Members debated the idea of indexing – tying to the cost of inflation – a fee levy increase, but decided to keep with the tradition of raising the fee as needed every five years.

In past years, ASFA has given its member associations more money, raised salaries and put more money into services.

The new fee-levy is supposed to make up for things that keep getting more expensive, like office supplies and event planning, but not things like honoraria, executive fees and events that break even.

If the fee levy is refused in the referendum, ASFA will be forced to cut its budget for the associations.

Correction: The original article said the by-election would take place on Nov. 27 to 29. The election will actually be on Tuesday, Nov. 25, Wednesday, Nov. 26 and Thursday, Nov. 27. The Link regrets the error.