ASFA 2017 General Elections Referendum Breakdown
Fee-Levy Increase and Bylaw Changes on Ballot
Voting in the Arts and Science Federation of Associations referendum will run from March 21 to 23. ASFA represents about 20,000 students within Concordia’s arts and sciences programs. Quorum, the number of students that need to vote for the election is 435.
ASFA will be trying to increase their fee-levy, as well lower quorum for their elections. At the time of publication, the referendum questions are not online, but the Chief Electoral Officer, Samuel Miriello, said that they will be visible and properly explained at polling booths.
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 Quebec Consumer Price Index, effective the beginning of the semester of Fall 2017?
ASFA will again be asking for a $0.12 fee-levy increase, which hasn’t changed since 2008. This question was on the ballot for ASFA’s by-elections in November 2016, but because the election did not reach quorum, it has to be asked again.
If passed, ASFA would give the extra funds to their member associations, so that they can plan more events, and have more workshops, according to the campaign page on Facebook. CEO honorariums would also be increased.
“It works out to $12 more over the course of your whole undergrad, but for us, it makes a difference,” Christina Massaro, ASFA’s Vice President of Finance, said in November. “It makes a difference for the [member associations], [and] for the people we can actually give proper honorariums.”
Massaro also said that the increase would result to a $20,000 increase to the budget per semester.
This will be the sixth time that ASFA asks for a fee levy increase in the last two and a half years.
Do you as a member of ASFA, agree to these changes in the By-Laws, more specifically, article one hundred and fifty eight (158) to allow quorum for Annual General Elections, By-Elections and any Referendum questions to be 400 hundred students rather than 2.5 % of students?
This year, ASFA wants to reduce their quorum for elections to 400 students. The current amount needed for quorum is 2.5 per cent of the 20,000 students that ASFA represents. This year that equates to 435 students.
The problem is that the requirement for quorum is constantly changing, and therefore makes the job harder on the Chief Electoral Officer, the person who runs the election, because they never know how many students they need to engage, according to Julia Sutera Sardo, current ASFA Vice-President Internal Affairs and Administration and candidate for president.
“It was very difficult to achieve quorum because it was hard to find out what quorum was,” she said. “It’s hard for [the CEOs] to adapt.”
She added that the budget for elections does not change, and based on previous years, if the CEO needs to engage more students than they’re expecting, they do not have the money to accommodate for that.
If passed, ASFA’s quorum would resemble that of the Concordia Student Union, which only requires 450 students to vote in their elections.
Do you, as a member of the ASFA, approve of the following By-Law changes?
In these general elections, ASFA is proposing some by-law changes. While most of the changes are small, there are some significant ones.
If passed, ASFA will be adding a member at large, which means an Arts and Science student that is neither an ASFA executive, nor councillor to their finance committee.
“We thought it would be more transparent to have a student come in and be able to assess things,” Sutera Sardo said.
The current finance committee is made up of three ASFA executives, three councillors and an independent councillor. Sutera Sardo said that she wants to make sure the students have a say in regards to what’s happening with their money.
Councillors will also be able to vote on temporary policies that can extend into the preceeding academic years, as long as the policy’s timeframe is noted.
Do you as member of ASFA, agree to changing the names of the ASFA executive positions to non hierarchical titles? President to General Coordinator; Vice President of Social Affairs to Social Coordinator; Vice President of Finance to Finance Coordinator; Vice President of Internal Affairs to Internal Affairs and Administration Coordinator; Vice President of External and Sustainability to Community Outreach and Sustainability Coordinator; Vice President of Academic and Loyola to Academic and Loyola Coordinator.
Another one of the changes that ASFA would like to make is change the names of their executive positions from the President and Vice Presidents to Coordinators.
“I think it’s time – our structure needs to be reflective of our values and ideas,” Sutera Sardo said. “I think it’s time for the federation grow. We’re already working in a non-hierarchal way.”
The CSU currently uses non-hierarchal titles for their executives.