The reality of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations belies its name. Rather than being a true federation that offers support to its member associations and allocate their funding, ASFA is a top-down dysfunctional organization. Not only does it restrict the autonomy of its member association, but it also does not work!
Anyone who has been involved on their respective association executive team knows and now sadly expects the struggle of getting anything done with ASFA, which can be extremely problematic in the case of funding activities. In one instance, the Liberal Arts Society has waited over five months for a cheque requisition.
Last year, no executive was elected at the occasion of the general elections, leading to the appointment of an interim executive, most of which had resigned by the end of the summer. In the fall, we elected a new slate that promised to bring radical change to ASFA. Despite their efforts, and some welcome improvements, ASFA remains the same, unless if we vote yes in the upcoming referendum. Since the fall, several executive resigned, the office manager resigned; in one year, we have had three successive VP finance, and long intervals without one. This is revealing of a pattern of dysfunctions that cannot just be patched up but needs to be addressed structurally.
The restructuration proposal brought to referendum will not solve every single issues at ASFA, but some changes need to be done, and this is a necessary step in the right direction. A reduced executive with clearer mandates and not bogged down by the organization of events will allow to reshape ASFA into what it should be: a funding body and a provider of institutional knowledge and support for the student association of the Arts and Science. The member associations are the best suited to cater to the needs of the students of their departments, and this proposal goes some way into turning ASFA back to real federation.
Please vote on March 16, 17 and 18!
Aloyse Muller, president of the Liberal Arts Society.