Two student groups are upset they’ll have to wait before the CSU will consider adding their requests for increased funding to the upcoming referendum; after council infighting pushed them off the agenda.
Both the People’s Potato and CUTV had asked for increases to their fee levies, per credit charges paid by all undergraduate students to support student programs. While fee levy increases must be approved by a student referendum, CSU council must add the questions to the referendum.
Motions to add the referendum questions were on the agenda at the Feb. 11 council meeting, but were pushed off at the request of councillor Kaysy Marie Paolucci.
She said she was concerned over who had proposed the motions after a series of e-mails, allegedly between several councillors and student politicians, were released publicly.
The e-mails show an effort by the councillors to control the CSU’s agenda and indicate the motions to increase the fee levies may have been written by former CSU president Mohamed Shuriye.
Both motions were introduced by councillor Louise Birdsell-Bauer.
“In regards to the current state of today’s events, I do believe other things need to be dealt with,” said Paolucci.
“Those people who are involved have proposed most of these motions, so I think it’s important we deal with the situation at hand before going through with what they proposed to council.”
Paolucci also called for a motion introduced by councillor Prince Ralph Osei, which would have required the executive to report financial statements at every council meeting, and a motion introduced by councillor Alejandro Lobo-Guerrero, which would have required council to approve spending on legal fees by the executive, to be removed from the agenda.
“I’m a bit appalled by the kind of ego that’s going on in there,” said Lise Kuhn, of the People’s Potato. “It seems like people are more interested with the personal back and forth than getting student business done.”
“I am very discouraged,” said Jason Gondziolla, CUTV station manager.
“Now there’s a great deal of uncertainty, now we’re relying on the council’s good faith in carrying out what they said they were going to do tonight.”
While council did vote to schedule a special meeting this week, to add the questions to the referendum, both Kuhn and Gondziolla said they were concerned the meeting wouldn’t happen, and that their questions might not be added before the deadline for the March general election and referendum.
“If we don’t get on this ballot we will be $30,000 short,” said Gondziolla.
The People’s Potato has been waiting to get on a referendum, said Kuhn; the question was supposed to appear on the cancelled October referendum.
CUTV is asking for an increase of six cents per credit, to provide more programs.
The People’s Potato is asking for a 10 cent increase, to bring their levy to 37 cents per credit. The People’s Potato is also asking for their levy to be indexed to inflation.
– With files from Ben Ngai.