SA to vote on fee increase, takes neutral position on Transit Referendum

Council 2 Feb. 10thThe Student Association will decide next week if they will move forward with the referendum that will ask students to support the services expansion proposal. The plan would cost students $25 dollars extra per term.

As with current fees at BCIT, this levy would change depending on the student, a part-time student will pay an additional $2.00 per class from what they pay now, while students registered in trades programs will pay an additional $0.80 cents per week.

This is how the student’s money would be allocated:

  • $11.39 towards renovations, this will include a renovation of Professor mugs pub, which has not been renovated since 1995. The creation of a new Student Development Centre that would focus on skills students can obtain beyond the classroom. The fee would also go towards renovating Burnaby’s campus bookstore, and renovation of the BCITSA Offices in SE2.
  • $13.6 towards creating new services and programming for students. One of them includes the creation of a new external advocacy office that would focus on providing a strong external voice for students; also, the addition of more staff hours to the highly used Student Affairs office. This fee will also include the addition of more technical support, online training, and greater tools for clubs. As well as better representation of the AIC and BMC campuses by adding two board members to the association.

Student levy price breakdown:

Student levy price breakdown

If approved, the referendum question would take place in March, and if it passes, the Association would begin collecting funds by September.

“At a first glance the $25 dollars may be hard one to sallow, but trying to think of the bigger picture, what we can do and how far it can go, our student association is one of the best at how we handle our money and how efficient we make students funds go,” said President Dylan Smith to council.

At council’s next meeting, the three-student marketing team and the Association’s director will present the question, as it will sit on the ballot, to be approved by council.

If the wording were approved at the meeting, campaigning would begin immediately. The strategic plan would have to be completed by 2019, at that point the student board would decide whether or not to continue collecting the funds.

The Association would need a 50% plus one majority of the voting members for the levy to pass, and a minimum of 150 votes cast.

 

Transit Referendum

Committee member presenting to council.

Committee member presenting to council.

The committee in charge of the transportation referendum presented their findings to council. The committee explored both the No and Yes side of the debate and put forward a motion for council to vote, the motion read:

“Be it resolved that the BCIT Student Association endorses a YES vote in the metro Vancouver Transportation Plebiscite.”

After lengthy discussion, with many students concerned about taking a public political stance on the matter, student council rejected the motion with 12 in favour, 15 against, and six abstentions.

Discussions on the subject will continue next meeting.

 

Rec Services

Another item that was discussed during the meeting was the possibility presented by the SA to work together with rec services to ensure students’ needs are being met.

The Association has been trying to work with them to allow students to have more input on the services. They would like to provide additional support for the department, as well as more services for students.

Student council showed great support to the idea of working with them to help them expand their services and positively benefit students.

“I am really excited to see this,” said Anya Beshara to council, an Environmental Health student, who pays extra fees every month to attend another gym because she would rather pay more than use the existing facilities and services.

Council will meet again on Feb. 23rd.