All questions except one pass in CSU referendum

Five out of the six referendum questions were passed in last week’s CSU referenda election, even though four out of the six questions are non-binding.
The question that did not pass was the non-academic club fee question, which would have increased club funding. This question was defeated by a small margin of 283 votes. If the question were passed it would be binding, since the CSU determines the budget of non-academic clubs.
CSU interim President Patrice Blais said that he was disappointed that this question did not pass, since clubs do not receive much funding. “Our club funding is 20 years behind and the size of club budgets is pretty bad. McGill [University] has better club funding than we do.”
Another binding question is the media fund fee, which will change the way the Amateur Radio Club, CJLO and CUTV will be funded. 2103 students voted in favour of the question, whereas 989 students voted against the new funding scheme.
The change in funding will take place in January 2002 and will go down from 15 cents per credit to 13 cents per credit and will be indexed to the consumer price index, which is the rate of increase of the cost of living. This rate varies and this means that the funding will vary.
Former CSU President Sabrina Stea said other clubs could get more money from this change in funding.
Another question that passed was the one on democratizing the position of the dean of students, by having the position of the dean of students elected. “We will be talking to the administration about this and we will see what they will do about this. I am estimating that the election for a new dean of students will take place in February,” Blais said.
Dean of students Donald Boisvert said he no comment in regard to the referendum question.
The question on the bad debt fee was passed. The fee would allow the administration to collect 1.61 per cent of student fees in order to make up for the difference in fees that the administration does not receive, but transfers to student groups. The administration does not collect all the fees is because some students do not end up paying for their courses. Even if a student finishes a course without paying for it, the fees from that course have already been transferred to student groups.
“It is clear that students do not want this fee,” said Blais. “It is up to the administration to listen to students.”
Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa said in a letter to the Concordian on Nov. 7 that the without the bad debt fee, the university would be providing the students with a interest free loan and last year that amounted to $783,241. He added that there was an increase of the amount of funds that were being transferred to students that was not theirs.
The fourth question regarded a rumor that the Canadian government would ban students from Libya, Iran and Iraq from taking chemistry courses at Canadian universities. Students voted in favour of not allowing the possibility of this ban from happening.
Rector Frederick Lowy said that he did not think that any Canadian university would uphold such a ban and that Concordia would not either.
The government said it never even taught of implementing such a ban.
Concordians also voted for sympathy with Americans for the Sept. 11 tragedy, but disagreed with the attacks on Afghanistan. Blais said in an e-mail that the CSU must take a stand on this issue.

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