Queer Concordia, The Void return to referendum ballot

Students will get a chance to vote on whether to give student organization Queer Concordia and student publication The Void fee levies after all. Both groups are back on the referendum bill despite being turfed from it early last week by Chief Electoral Officer Oliver Cohen.

The initial decision to pull the groups off the ballot came after both were found to not yet be incorporated under Quebec law, a requirement stipulated in the motions accepting them onto the ballots. Concordia will not pay out fee levy funds to unincorporated groups, though the CSU does not list this requirement in its bylaws.

Cohen, who was not present at the council meeting, worded a proposal for each fee levy to make it to the ballot.

Lawyer and Concordia professor Patrice Blais, who teaches a course on non-profit organizations and who has been counselling QC on the incorporation process, spoke in favour of re-introducing the QC fee levy to council on Wednesday with QC representative Joey Donnelly.

Both motions were passed by council at the start of the meeting.

“I think we’re lucky, I think it worked,” said  Void editor-in-chief Cole Robertson, who was not able to be at last Wednesday’s meeting but was represented by two other organizers, Michael Chaulk and Jack Allen. “I think that the issues with incorporation will be sorted very quickly,” Robertson said, adding that they had heard back from the government after filing for incorporation at the end of January. He expects the Void will be incorporated by the end of April.

The Void was also waived the need to replace their original required petition, as the first one was misplaced at the January council meeting, supposedly after it was handed in but before it could be given to the chair.

For now, the campaigning will begin for both organizations, who are each seeking $0.02 a credit per undergraduate student. QC is seeking to establish a support service centre for queer students with a part-time employee. The Void currently operates on grants and funding taken from different organizations, and are looking for a steady source of funding. They would also like to print on higher quality paper and be able to pay organizers, who volunteer, said Robertson. The money allotted should net each group $12-14,000 a year.

They join current fee levy organization CJLO radio, which is seeking a $0.09 increase to its current $0.25 a credit, on the ballot.

Polling will take place March 29, 30 and 31.



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