ASFA Proposes Second Bid to Increase Fee-Levy

Student Association Set to Ask For 12-Cent Raise in Upcoming By-Election

  • The Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations will once again attempt to raise its fee levy to $1.34 in it upcoming by-elections on Nov. 28 to 30. ASFA council meeting Nov. 10, 2016 Photo Vince Morello

The Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations will once again attempt to raise its fee levy to $1.34 in it upcoming by-elections on Nov. 28 to 30.

A motion to bring the question to ASFA’s internal committee passed during a council meeting on Nov. 10.

ASFA’s fee levy has not been increased since 2008, and currently it sits at $1.22 per credit.

“Ultimately we don’t have enough money for everything that we want to be doing even by cutting things,” said Robert Young, president of the Liberal Arts Society.

Young cited inflation and ASFA’s probable increase in member associations, from 22 to 34, as reasons for the proposed fee levy increase.

Christina Massaro, ASFA’s finance coordinator, said it was unable to meet the demands of its member associations this year. This year ASFA gave $200,000 to its member associations.

“A lot of them are displeased with their budget, but I just can’t do anything,” she said.

Paying polling clerks and CEO’s more, she added, is another reason to increase the fee levy as they are underpaid relative to the hours they put in.

Sarah Oleil, the councillor and social events coordinator for the Women’s Studies Student Association, an ASFA member, said during the council meeting that restructuring the budget and cutting money from events like Frosh could help alleviate the economic burden.

Young said that this idea had already been discussed, and this year’s Frosh event cost a record low of $60,000. Cuts in other areas would be extremely difficult to make, he added.

“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,” he said.

This is the third time the question will be on the ballot. The first time was in March when ASFA asked for an 14-cent increase to make their fee levy $1.36, and it passed.

There was a mistake, however, on the question of restructuring ASFA. After a miscommunication with the students on what was being voted on, all three questions, including the question on raising the fee levy, returned to ballot for the sake of transparency, according to Massaro.

The second time it was asked in an April referendum, the students voted against the fee levy increase.

An internal committee will review the question of who will decide whether or not to include it in the referendum, late November.

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