The referendum questions by the numbers
Starting tomorrow on Mar. 21, until Thursday Mar. 23, the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) will be having their General Elections in which all of their Board of Directors positions, and their five referendum questions, will be voted on by students. The two costliest referendum questions for students will include an increase to the Student Building Levy and a fee for external advocacy. The other three questions include a fee for clubs and events, a new levy to fund recreation intramurals and other student wellness initiatives, and a regulation to tie all the above fees to the Consumer Price Index.
After four years of studying the viability of a Student Union Building (SUB), the CSU are finally ready to fund the project through an increase to the SUB Levy. The current levy is $1.31 per credit up to a maximum of $13.10 a semester, for those taking more than nine credits (three courses). The new levy would increase to $4.00 dollars per credit in 2017-18, then increase by $1.00 for each of the next four years, before maxing out at $8.00 per credit by semester in 2021-22. These annual increases, which exceed the Consumer Price Index (annual inflation), are most likely in place to mitigate declining enrolment, particularly among domestic students, something that has been plaguing Capilano University since 2012.
Perhaps the biggest news concerning the increase to the annual SUB Levy is the increased per credit threshold the CSU is proposing. As mentioned earlier, the current levy maxes out at about 10 credits, meaning that any student taking four or more courses (12 to a maximum of 21 credits), would be required to pay the levy for up to 15 credits, as opposed to the usual nine. Should the referendum pass, in 2017-2018, a returning student taking five courses would pay $60 dollars per semester in both September and January, as opposed to the $13.10 SUB Levy they would have paid this year.
In addition to the SUB Levy increase, the CSU have also recommended that a new levy for recreation and intramural sports be approved by students. This levy would be priced at $0.50 per credit up to a maximum of 15 credits. A student taking five courses would pay $7.50 per semester. Another closely related fee to the recreation levy is the one proposed for clubs and events, which would cost students $0.29 per credit up to a maximum of 15 credits.
The last fee students will be asked to approve or reject is the CSU’s proposed external advocacy fee. It would be priced at $0.33 per credit up to a maximum of 15 credits, and go towards the CSU’s external advocacy activities. This includes paying for memberships in external organizations like the Alliance of BC Students (ABCS), the costs of lobbying the Provincial and North Shore governments and all other advocacy the CSU engages in.
Voting opens tomorrow at 9:00 am and runs until 5:00 pm everyday until Thursday Mar. 23. Preliminary election results trickle in Thursday evening and become official soon after. For more information on the election and proposed fees, visit csu.bc.ca.
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