Potential ASFA Reform to Begin in January, Outside Consultation Recommended

Current Proposal Estimates a Cost of $4250

File Photo

After failing to pass last month, a “visioning process” has been approved by the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) council on Thursday night.

Created by a strategic planning committee, the “visioning” will be a gathering of ASFA participants—suggested to be councillors, judicial committee members, executives and two additional members from each association—to discuss reforming the student organization’s purpose and direction.

The estimated cost of the proposal is $4250 for hiring of a consultant, space rental, and food and drink, according to a document prepared by outgoing ASFA coordinator Benjamin Prunty. The motion passed with eight votes in favor, two against and 10 abstentions.

Even though the committee has made recommendations, the atmosphere they were received in could “change dramatically” in the semester, according to Prunty. This could include the creation of other committees to strategize a new course of action, he added.

The process will begin in January and will ideally end with membership approval through a referendum in March general elections. ASFA represents approximately 15,000 undergraduate students at Concordia University.

The gathering will be facilitated by Ayla Khosroshahi, an executive coaching consultant Prunty said he worked with during his time at the Concordia Student Union for its Hive Café project. He added that a failure to find a common direction would not be because of Khosroshahi.

“This person is really just there to facilitate conversation,” Prunty said. “This is grounded in the assumption people can come together to have a conversation.”

“This is grounded in the assumption people can come together to have a conversation,” said Benjamin Prunty.

Fear of different points of view at the visioning will be due to pessimism, he continued. “If enough people are optimistic and positive about it, then it could be great,” Prunty said.

The coordinator role is over, and Prunty is unsure whether he will take up a similar capacity again come January. No formal contract exists for the temporary position, and only informal discussions were held at the strategic planning committee about compensation, according to the outgoing coordinator.

The job was originally advertised as $15 per hour for a maximum of $900 on ASFA’s Facebook page, and Prunty said it will cost “significantly” less. A confirmation of his pay from an ASFA executive was not met by press time.

Katie Nelson, Students of Philosophy Association President and ASFA councillor, voted against the proposal and told The Link that despite being in favour of the motion’s spirit, she thought how it was brought forward and pushed through was “manipulative and unorganized.”

She said the motion originally didn’t pass because some councillors asked the committee to provide a clearer budget and allow for more student involvement. The committee returned with no changes on Thursday and said they wouldn’t further clarify their budget, according to Nelson.

At the session last month, council chose to go into closed session to discuss the visioning. VP External Jenna Cocullo said at the time the proposal wasn’t approved because even though the council was in favour of its spirit, there were a “few tweaks” to be made.