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by Archives January 15, 2008

ASFA joining effort on tuition freeze

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations (or ASFA) is taking a position against rising tuition fees.
According to ASFA’s VP for Academics and Advocacy, Audrey Peek, they also hope to educate students on the issue. To do this ASFA will be bringing in a panel to answer questions that students have about the recent de-freeze. The event called, “The Future of Post-Secondary Education in Quebec,” will feature speakers from the province’s two largest student associations, the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (ASSÉ) and the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ).
However, ASFA would like to remain neutral from the two competing lobby groups.
“ASFA supports the tuition freeze, we’re just not sure if we want to affiliate with a specific group. So we decided to sort of create our own non-partisan event regarding the tuition freeze,” said Peek.
The session will be held on Jan. 31, 2008 from 5 – 7 p.m. in H-110.

CSU alters rule on vote recounts

Introduced at Thursday’s council meeting, recounts will happen automatically if the margin of victory in an election or referendum is less than four per cent. Previously, recounts happened when they were only requested by a candidate, in the case of an election; or by any student, in referendums. According to Zach Battat, who introduced the motion, this is to prevent abuses of the recount process, which he said “wastes students’ money.” He also said the new rules will make the election process more transparent.
But some councillors argued that the four per cent cutoff was too low. James Doyle said that for some seats – such as Engineering and Computer Science, a four per cent margin could be as little as 17 votes.
The new rules also remove a requirement for three members of the judicial board, the judiciary body for Concordia’s politics, to be present at any recount. Under the new rules JB members can be present at recounts, but it is no longer required.

ASFA’s own book exchange

Students hoping to get a better deal when buying or selling their textbooks can try the ASFA book exchange, currently in its second and final week. “As we all know the buy-back program is a rip-off,” said Audrey Peek VP Academics and Advocacy for ASFA. “The idea was that students could come to us with their used textbooks and course packs and decide on the price they want to sell their books for and then we post an ad for their book on our website.” Students reserve the book online and then pay for it in person in the lobby of the Vanier Library, at Loyola. According to Peek the exchange, which launched in September, has been a success. “It’s been really successful this semester, I think we’ve grown by 400 per cent.” The exchange is based on a similar program at Dawson College.

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