Concordia students voted to pay more fees in last week’s annual fall by-elections. The fee levy for CUTV was doubled from nine cents to 18 cents, while two new levies were approved; the Co-op Bookstore will be getting nine cents per credit, and the Concordia Student Union’s Library Project, will come at a price of $1 per credit, beginning in January.
The new levies mean a Concordia student taking 24 credits per year will see a fee increase of $28.32 a year.
Voter apathy was the order of the day as only 1,201 students cast ballots. Representing roughly 3.5 per cent of students, the vote was barely passed the quorum of 2.5 per cent, the percentage of ballots cast needed in order for the vote to stand. “I was obviously disappointed by the turnout,” said CSU president Amine Dabchy. “It’s the same issue we have at Concordia year after year.”
The CSU tried to engage more students, Dabchy said. But its attempts, like town hall meetings, proved unsuccessful.
The biggest item to pass, the Library Project, is supposed to bring major changes to the downtown library. Starting in January, it will be open 24 hours per day throughout the semester, will have more textbooks and coursepacks on reserve and will have more designated quiet space downtown.
In order to bring all these changes into effect, Dabchy said the union will be setting up a library committee. “Also, any ideas from students will be added to the project.” the president said before catching himself making a promise he might not be able to keep. “We’re not going to be setting up a soccer field on the third floor.”
Regardless of the low voter turnout, the Co-op Bookstore was pleased. “We’re happy with the result,” said manager Larissa Dutil. “It’s too bad there wasn’t a bigger turnout, but we won by a wide margin.” The money will allow the bookstore to create an online database of all its new and used books.
CUTV station manager Noah Leon said the station badly needed the money. “We’re not surprised, but we’re relieved. We would have had to make some very tough choices. We would not have been able to keep up with the demand for our services.”
The results will become official Thursday, once the week-long period allotted for contestations has passed. The process was relatively hassle-free, according to CSU VP academic and policy reform Helen Downie, although the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ election, being held at the same time, caused some confusion. “There was a bit of lack of communication between the chief electoral officers, but I think it went well.” said Downie. ASFA’s referendum was held over four new amendments, which included barring council members from serving on the judicial committee, reviewing by-laws and setting up a Loyola committee. All the amendments passed by large margins.