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Two student groups to talk fee levies at CSU council

by admin January 11, 2011

Two student groups to talk fee levies at CSU council

by admin January 11, 2011

Two Concordia groups will be presenting proposals to the CSU at a council meeting tomorrow, one to try and increase their existing levy and the other in an effort to create a new fee levy for themselves.

CJLO, Concordia’s only radio station, will be presenting to the council a proposal to increase their existing undergraduate fee levy from 25 cents per credit to 34 cents a credit, a seemingly minor increase of nine cents which would amount to somewhere in the area of $60,000 to their overall budget.

According to station manager Katie Seline, the nine cents would largely be put into an expansion fund for the station. “We’ve had two years of incredible growth,” she said, “so we’re hoping now that we can get the support of students so that we can basically become much more sustainable and to encourage further growth.”

Seline described four main areas where the money would be put to use: first, in hiring a consultant to examine the possibility of increasing their signal or moving to an FM frequency; secondly, in order to decrease the need for paid advertising; next, the money would allow the station to continue to provide students and clubs certain free resources, like free advertising and training; finally, the funds would allow the station to help maintain their staff and, potentially, pay more of them. CJLO currently has only two full-time paid employees.

“Everyone else is volunteer and are volunteering way beyond what we expect of them which is great,” Seline said.

“We’re lucky that we have a huge team of very dedicated people but those people are burning out. It’s tough to run an organization now, this size, purely on volunteer staff with the exception of two people.”

CJLO’s current undergraduate fee levy amounts to about 85 per cent of their operating budget, which totals $193,000 a year according to Seline. Most of this however is put towards operating costs including rental of land for their radio antenna and a hefty electricity bill.

The station succeeded in gaining student support to establish a fee levy over a decade ago, and in 2004 managed to have their fee levy increased in order to support their transfer to an AM frequency. Last year they were also able to gain some financial support from Concordia’s graduate students as well. They also holds fundraisers, like a raffle in the past week that raised money for the station and NDG Food Depot.

Seline said she is confident the CSU council will approve the station’s proposal. “From what I’ve heard we got the support of a lot of people. One of the CSU councillors is a DJ here so that’s helpful. He’s very positive about the station and what we’re doing.”

Despite the failure of the CSU to convince students to support an increased student centre fee levy this fall, and the looming tuition increases, Seline still believes students will appreciate being presented a clear question, and not “being tricked” into paying a higher levy.

“Our interest is being transparent, it always has been.”

If CJLO were to succeed in adding the nine cents to their levy in a referendum, they would surpass QPIRG for the third highest undergraduate fee levy received by a student group, the highest two being the People’s Potato (37 cents per credit) and the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program (35 cents per credit).

The Void Magazine, the only bilingual literary magazine on campus, is the other group making a proposal to the CSU tomorrow in an effort to establish a two cent per credit levy.

The Void’s editor-in-chief, Cole Robertson, said that the two cents would cover the majority of the magazine’s operating budget. “The money is essentially to pay largely printing costs, some promotion and to pay our editors a small honorarium,” he said, adding that much of their expenses also go to paying the contributors, “the artists and the writers who provide the content of the Void.”

Currently the Void receives funding from a number of organizations at Concordia, ASFA, the CSU, the Liberal Arts College and the English department to name a few. Robertson called their funding a “hodgepodge” of sources and noted that the amount of funding to go around has been decreasing, causing the magazine some difficulty. “Last year specifically we found it very hard to cover our bases in terms of funding,” he said. “We have been able to fund ourselves so far this year but it’s always a bit of a shot in the dark so this is just to cover reliably our core operating costs.”

In section four of the CSU’s Standing Regulations it stipulates that “A petition in support of the fee levy’s collection, containing the name, faculty, student ID number, and signature of at least 750 undergraduate students.”

Despite having only 95 signatures on their online version of a petition, Robertson confirmed that the Void had in fact succeeded in garnering the necessary 750 signatures in order for their proposal to be eligible, and said he is optimistic the council will approve the proposal.

Both fee levy proposals need to be approved by a two-thirds majority of CSU councillors at the meeting before being put to referendum during the spring general elections.

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Two Concordia groups will be presenting proposals to the CSU at a council meeting tomorrow, one to try and increase their existing levy and the other in an effort to create a new fee levy for themselves.

CJLO, Concordia’s only radio station, will be presenting to the council a proposal to increase their existing undergraduate fee levy from 25 cents per credit to 34 cents a credit, a seemingly minor increase of nine cents which would amount to somewhere in the area of $60,000 to their overall budget.

According to station manager Katie Seline, the nine cents would largely be put into an expansion fund for the station. “We’ve had two years of incredible growth,” she said, “so we’re hoping now that we can get the support of students so that we can basically become much more sustainable and to encourage further growth.”

Seline described four main areas where the money would be put to use: first, in hiring a consultant to examine the possibility of increasing their signal or moving to an FM frequency; secondly, in order to decrease the need for paid advertising; next, the money would allow the station to continue to provide students and clubs certain free resources, like free advertising and training; finally, the funds would allow the station to help maintain their staff and, potentially, pay more of them. CJLO currently has only two full-time paid employees.

“Everyone else is volunteer and are volunteering way beyond what we expect of them which is great,” Seline said.

“We’re lucky that we have a huge team of very dedicated people but those people are burning out. It’s tough to run an organization now, this size, purely on volunteer staff with the exception of two people.”

CJLO’s current undergraduate fee levy amounts to about 85 per cent of their operating budget, which totals $193,000 a year according to Seline. Most of this however is put towards operating costs including rental of land for their radio antenna and a hefty electricity bill.

The station succeeded in gaining student support to establish a fee levy over a decade ago, and in 2004 managed to have their fee levy increased in order to support their transfer to an AM frequency. Last year they were also able to gain some financial support from Concordia’s graduate students as well. They also holds fundraisers, like a raffle in the past week that raised money for the station and NDG Food Depot.

Seline said she is confident the CSU council will approve the station’s proposal. “From what I’ve heard we got the support of a lot of people. One of the CSU councillors is a DJ here so that’s helpful. He’s very positive about the station and what we’re doing.”

Despite the failure of the CSU to convince students to support an increased student centre fee levy this fall, and the looming tuition increases, Seline still believes students will appreciate being presented a clear question, and not “being tricked” into paying a higher levy.

“Our interest is being transparent, it always has been.”

If CJLO were to succeed in adding the nine cents to their levy in a referendum, they would surpass QPIRG for the third highest undergraduate fee levy received by a student group, the highest two being the People’s Potato (37 cents per credit) and the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program (35 cents per credit).

The Void Magazine, the only bilingual literary magazine on campus, is the other group making a proposal to the CSU tomorrow in an effort to establish a two cent per credit levy.

The Void’s editor-in-chief, Cole Robertson, said that the two cents would cover the majority of the magazine’s operating budget. “The money is essentially to pay largely printing costs, some promotion and to pay our editors a small honorarium,” he said, adding that much of their expenses also go to paying the contributors, “the artists and the writers who provide the content of the Void.”

Currently the Void receives funding from a number of organizations at Concordia, ASFA, the CSU, the Liberal Arts College and the English department to name a few. Robertson called their funding a “hodgepodge” of sources and noted that the amount of funding to go around has been decreasing, causing the magazine some difficulty. “Last year specifically we found it very hard to cover our bases in terms of funding,” he said. “We have been able to fund ourselves so far this year but it’s always a bit of a shot in the dark so this is just to cover reliably our core operating costs.”

In section four of the CSU’s Standing Regulations it stipulates that “A petition in support of the fee levy’s collection, containing the name, faculty, student ID number, and signature of at least 750 undergraduate students.”

Despite having only 95 signatures on their online version of a petition, Robertson confirmed that the Void had in fact succeeded in garnering the necessary 750 signatures in order for their proposal to be eligible, and said he is optimistic the council will approve the proposal.

Both fee levy proposals need to be approved by a two-thirds majority of CSU councillors at the meeting before being put to referendum during the spring general elections.

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