Home News CSU will purchase ASFA tickets for $12,000: council

CSU will purchase ASFA tickets for $12,000: council

by Jacques Gallant April 11, 2011

The CSU’s council voted unanimously Thursday night to purchase the Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ remaining Youth in Action Montreal tickets, in accordance with a demand made by the federation after the student union announced it would be giving away its own tickets to the event for free.
ASFA put forward the motion following a March 29 meeting between outgoing ASFA and CSU executives, where CSU VP finance Ramy Khoriaty indicated that due to poor interest, the student union would be giving away its Youth in Action Montreal tickets instead of selling them for $20 each. The event is to take place on April 29 and will include speakers such as former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and David Suzuki. According to ASFA, the CSU’s decision compromised ASFA’s ability
to sell their tickets.
Up until the end of March, the CSU had sold about 35 tickets out of the 1,000 it purchased with $20,000 taken from the already overbudgeted speakers series fund. ASFA had sold 50 tickets out of the 500 it had purchased with $11,500 from its special projects fund, which is destined to help finance ASFA member association initiatives. The decision for that purchase was made unanimously by ASFA councillors at their December meeting.
At the March meeting between ASFA and the CSU, ASFA was presented with three options. The first was to offer ASFA all of the CSU’s resources to promote the sale of their tickets, while the student union gave away its own tickets for free. The second option would have seen the CSU give out its first 500 tickets, and then try to sell the remaining 500; should these tickets not sell, the CSU would incur the same loss as ASFA.
The final option, and the one Khoriaty thought ASFA would agree to, would have given ASFA two weeks to sell at least half of its tickets while the CSU sold its own, and if at the end of that time limit ASFA had still not sold that minimum, the CSU would give away its tickets for free.
But ASFA chose none of the above, and instead called for the special meeting that was held Thursday night and where council approved the motion to purchase ASFA’s remaining tickets with $11,350 taken out of its projected $57,000 surplus. The CSU will now proceed to give away these tickets as well.
”ASFA was so convinced that this money was going to come back, and we are not responsible for the risk ASFA took with its MAs,” said Khoriaty after the vote. ”We were kind of convinced that people would love this event, because it’s not speakers that come very often. $20 is nothing for a day like this so we were expecting that $20,000 to come back to us.”
During the council meeting, Khoriaty stated that even if the CSU had reduced the price for the tickets, they were convinced that they would not have sold more than 100 tickets. He questioned why ASFA had decided to buy 500 tickets from Youth in Action Montreal when the CSU had already bought 1,000 tickets, describing the situation as a ”competition.” But outgoing ASFA president Aaron Green thought otherwise.
”I understood this to be a collaboration between ASFA and the CSU, not a competition,” he said. ”When the CSU presented us with these options we could see the negative ramifications this would have on our MAs. We were confident that we could promote this event and sell our tickets throughout April.”

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