No to Per-Faculty Fee-Levy Referendums

Concordia is a remarkable school beyond the classrooms, because we have such a strong sense of community.

The vibrancy of campus life here is apparent in ways I have not seen at any other school.

A central component of the unique nature of Concordia is our relationship to fee-levy groups. These groups bind us together, support us, and enrich our education and experience at university. However, they are under threat by the per-faculty fee-levy referendum question.

By treating fee levies as a faculty issue, we ignore the fact that people benefit from these groups regardless of their faculty. Currently, we vote yearly as a school on whether we will support fee-levy increases. If people want to opt out of these fees, they are free to do so.

However, if a faculty were to opt out, they would switch the orientation to an opt-in system, where people must be individually solicited for their donations. These fee-levy groups would no longer be just student funded service, interest and advocacy groups. They would be charities.

Further, one could ask, would these organizations stop providing services to faculties that opt out? Would the Centre for Gender Advocacy stop providing support for assault victims of those student bodies? Would the People’s Potato or the Greenhouse start demanding transcripts proving what department we belong to? Would CUTV, The Link, CJLO, or The Concordian refuse news and entertainment to those students?

No, because that isn’t how these groups work. However, they would be pushed to divert funds and resources away from providing services that make Concordia such a fantastic place to ensure their now precarious survival.

Andrew Weizman