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ASFA debates member associations’ budgets

by Frédéric T. Muckle March 17, 2015
ASFA debates member associations’ budgets

Resposibility over fee levy and upcoming byelections discussed at March 12 meeting

A recent meeting of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) concerned both the planned referendum question about raising ASFA’s fee levy, a referendum that failed in last semester’s byelections, and the question of who should pay the cost if the referendum question fails again.

It was put forward that a lack of executive advertising and sufficient awareness negatively impacted the campaign. Since member associations (MAs) are part of ASFA, the possibility was brought up that their budgets may be trimmed.

The discussion first started on a motion brought forward by Danick Carpenter, Vice-President Internal and Councilor of the Students of History at Concordia (SHAC).

Carpenter lobbied against adjusting MA budgets saying that putting more financial burden on the associations went against the spirit of ASFA and its members.

“The MAs shouldn’t necessarily be self-sustainable,” Carpenter said. “We’re not a business trying to make revenue.”

Councillor James Tyler Vaccaro noted that any cuts to MA budgets wouldn’t be ideal but that ASFA’s deficit of between $50-60,000 leaves the organization with few options.

“The conversation centred more on the fact some member associations seemed to feel quite entitled by the amount of money they get and they shouldn’t ever have any reductions in that amount,” said Vaccaro. He went on to say that MAs shouldn’t have to face cuts but disapproved of the mentality of MAs vs. ASFA executives.

Carpenter stressed the fact that indeed some cuts in MA’s budgets could be made, such as trimming the Special Project Fund, and that these financial changes could influence positively the final results of the upcoming referendum.

Carpenter said that in his opinion, “there should be a regulation to determine at least some basic returns from the MAs, because some of the bigger MAs pay a lot more in than what they get out.”

He said that this was probably not the end of things. “It’s probably going to be an on-going issue,” said Carpenter. “I think it’s a good thing that we’re having this discussion at ASFA.”

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