#CSU2014: Referendums in Brief

  • Executive candidates from all three teams, plus two independents, debate the issues in front of roughly four dozen students March 18. Photo Shaun Michaud

Your vote matters for more than just electing CSU councillors and executives.

Referenda are how Concordia students reach democratic decisions on specific actions, be it to mandate the union to support on-campus student-run food projects, or to decide on a new fee-levy. Fee-levies are collected from each undergraduate to fund a specific group on campus. When a new Concordia organization is created, students vote in a referendum on whether or not to fund a fee-levy in perpetuity with student money.

Here, The Link has compiled a list of important referendum questions that will appear on this year’s election ballots.

The Student Space, Accessible Education and Legal Contingency Fund

This referendum question, labeled as the Special By-Law I Petition, concerns a fund started by the CSU to purchase a student centre. It is also a contingency for the union, which is currently suing the Canadian Federation of Students to recognize its defederation. The petition, presented by CSU chairperson Nick Cuillerier, asks you whether you’d like that money—which stands at about $13 million and grows by over $1 million each year—to be used to implement student-run food services at Concordia.

Per-Faculty Referendums Petition

This referendum questions asks you whether you think students should be charged a fee-levy on a per-faculty basis or not, meaning that if the majority of your faculty votes in favour of a fee-levy, you’re going to be charged, but students studying in another department may vote against that particular fee-levy. There are 17 fee-levy groups at Concordia that together cost from $9.41 to $14.68 per semester, depending on your faculty.

Centre for Gender Advocacy

The last time the Centre for Gender Advocacy received a fee-levy increase was in 2006, which saw them receive $0.29 per credit. But with inflation and the changing cost of materials, the Centre is proposing a $0.08-per credit increase, bringing their per-credit fee-levy to $0.37. Members say it is impossible to sustain current service levels without the increase.

CUTV Fee-Levy Transfer

Community University Television—formerly Concordia University Television—sought in the summer of 2012 to separate from the umbrella organization that handled its fee-levy. Despite some staff troubles that escalated to the point that the CUTV staff were locked out of the station, CUTV has rebuilt itself over the course of this academic year. Now, the campus station is asking for CUTV’s temporary control over its $0.34 per-credit fee-levy to be extended permanently.

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