Home News ASFA passes anti-racism motion, appoints new member

ASFA passes anti-racism motion, appoints new member

by Savanna Craig January 15, 2017 0 comment

ASFA hires new vice president of communications and promotions and presents two motions

The Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations (ASFA) hired a new vice-president of communications and promotions during their first council meeting of the winter semester. The council also passed an anti-racism position motion and a motion to support those who menstruate.

The council meeting took place in the Hall building on Jan. 12. The ASFA vice-president of internal affairs, Julia Sutera Sardo, submitted and presented the anti-racism motion. It passed with supporting votes from all member associations (MAs).

“The anti-racist position motion requires ASFA to recognize the influence of colonialism, discrimination and systemic racism that has and continues to happen to this day to black, [and] indigenous people of color (POC),” said Sutera Sardo.

ASFA general coordinator Andrea Krasznai photographed on left. Photo by Ana Hernandez

ASFA president Andrea Krasznai photographed on left. Photo by Ana Hernandez

In addition, the motion calls for ASFA to value the outlooks, experiences and identities of black and indigenous POC. “Be it further resolved that the ASFA condemn any and all forms of oppression, and be a voice for and an ally to individuals who experience marginalization,” said Sutera Sardo during council. The motion would require the association to support a safer, all-inclusive campus for those of any religion or culture—while holding Concordia administration to an equal standard, as written in the motion.

Furthermore, the motion acknowledges that ASFA currently commences council meetings by acknowledging Concordia University is located on Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) land. The motion encourages the association to continue this formal land recognition at the beginning of each meeting.

The second motion, the Support for Individuals that Menstruate Position Motion, was also submitted and presented by Sutera Sardo. It requests that ASFA finance and supply feminine products in all MA offices for students in need. Sutera Sardo said that ASFA, an organization which represents more than 20,000 students, many of whom experience menstruation, may not have the funds or means to acquire feminine hygiene products. She said this is especially prominent at the Loyola Campus, which is located in an area where it is not as easy to acquire these products, as pharmacies are not close by.

“Be it resolved that the ASFA recognize the experiences of individuals who menstruate and actively take actions to alleviate the barriers that they face,” said Sutera Sardo.

In Sutera Sardo’s motion, she requested that ASFA create a permanent “Feminine Hygiene Products” budget line within the Advocacy Committee budget, allocating $2,000 to the purchasing of a variety of feminine hygiene products for each school year.

“ASFA Advocacy Committee [would] be responsible for making a variety of feminine hygiene products available for free in continuity to its members on both campuses through its downtown and Loyola offices, as well as the offices of its member associations,” said Sutera Sardo.

Christina Massaro, the ASFA vice-president of finance, spoke against the motion. “If you go to Health Services, you can easily get a pack that comes with two tampons and a pad,” Massaro said during council. Those in need of feminine products will think of Health Services before they think to come to ASFA, said Massaro.

In response, Sutera Sardo said she has been approached by some students who said it was easier and more accessible to go to a MA office, rather than Health Services. “If you’re on the 12th floor of [the Hall building], it’s easier to go to either the Geography Undergraduate Student Society or the Political Science Students’ Association and get yourself a pad and tampon,” said Sutera Sardo. “You can’t necessarily run to Health Services.”

Sutera Sardo said Health Services has run out of these supplies before and for someone in need on the Loyola campus, it is harder to find feminine products close by.

The motion was not fully passed, but the motion was tweaked so that MAs, councillors and executives would agree that ASFA should recognize the barriers people who menstruate may face.

Sutera Sardo told The Concordian the $2,000 ASFA would be budgeting towards the initiative discussed will be on hold until the next ASFA council meeting in February. By then, a plan for how to distribute the supplies from MA offices will be determined.

Sutera Sardo told The Concordian ASFA appointed Georgios Simeonidis as an independant councillor during council.

ASFA went into closed session for the hiring of ASFA vice-president of communications and promotions, and the details of the deliberations were not disclosed. However, ASFA president Andrea Krasznai told The Concordian the position will be filled by Paula Monroy, an undergraduate from the urban studies program.

Krasznai mentioned that, during the closed session, there was a motion passed concerning the general elections. “All I know right now is that we’re going to have the general elections between March 1 and 31,” she said. The general elections will be held to choose the incoming ASFA executives and independent councillors for the 2017-2018 school year.

ASFA’s next council meeting will be held on Feb. 9 held in Hingston Hall, Wing HC, Room 155 on Loyola campus.

The Concordian has updated this article for accuracy purposes. We apologize and deeply regret the error.

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