Concordia’s Arts and Science Federation of Associations has appointed an ad hoc committee to recommend changes to its makeup, which may see some member associations lose their status.
ASFA, Concordia’s largest faculty organization, represents over 18,000 students and is currently made up of 26 member organizations from individual departments and programs such as history, journalism or liberal arts.
The decision to look into the memberships was taken at ASFA’s year-end council meeting in December. The ad hoc committee is made up of councillors from both actual departments at Concordia and councillors from studies.
“As it is right now, ASFA allows almost any member association that wants to be represented to exist,” said Leah Del Vecchio, ASFA’s president. “For instance, the geography and urban planning department at Concordia University is one department, yet both geography and urban planning have member associations and are represented independently.”
She said reform is necessary because if students decided to form more associations, ASFA’s budget would be crippled and individual associations would get less money.
Depending what the committee recommends, certain member associations may lose their status or be merged with other associations, while new associations could be formed for departments currently under-represented. The committee’s report is expected in February.
Del Vecchio stressed that ASFA was working to make the transition as transparent as possible. “It is not meant to threaten any member associations. It is a topic that unfortunately needs to be discussed, and in a few months we will be able to see what the suggestions of the committee are.”
New CEO appointed
During the same meeting, ASFA council appointed Colby Briggs to become its new chief electoral officer. Briggs will be responsible for hiring poll staff and overseeing ASFA elections.
The newly-elected CEO, who previously oversaw the elections of individual member organizations, said ASFA is considering introducing new measures to prevent electoral misconduct in the wake of last year’s disputed CSU elections.
“ASFA is exploring using a system of predetermined penalties for violations. For example, if Person X tears down Person Y’s poster, Person X can be punished with a reduction of their budget, or even a hundred votes,” he said, while maintaining that ASFA elections were generally much cleaner and less controversial than those of the CSU’s.
When asked about problems with enforcement, he said he was banking on his own personal authority. “The hope is that I can impose enough to prevent garbage from happening in the first place. I’m pretty good at finding these things out.”
VP Finance resigns
VP finance of ASFA, Audrey Depault, announced her resignation from the position. She said the move was necessary in order to pursue an internship in Africa.
Del Vecchio will be assuming the role of VP Finance in addition to her duties as president for the remainder of the term. Depault could not be reached for comment.