KSA Prepares Referendum Questions for February Elections

Read the questions now to decide how you want to cast your ballot on Feb. 12 and 13

(Nic Laube)

The Kwantlen Student Association is currently preparing for a referendum that will asks students to vote on a number of issues concerning their student fees. The referendum will run on Feb. 12 and 13 across all campuses, with the results announced shortly afterwards.

Below are the referendum questions that will be posed to the student body, along with brief explanations about each of them. Note that the wording has not yet been finalized, so each question may be different on the ballots.

“Do you agree to continue the U-Pass BC program for all eligible Kwantlen Polytechnic University students at $42.50 per month beginning May 1, 2020; and allow for up to a 2% annual increase (with fees rounded to the nearest nickel) thereafter?”

The U-Pass BC program was designed to help students save money by charging them a lower monthly rate than TransLink’s normal fare, which is $174.00 per month for a three-zone pass. The current fee that students pay is $41.00 per month. Students experiencing financial hardship can apply for the Multipass Hardship Bursary, and receive partial or full Multi-pass subsidies if they qualify.

“Do you approve of the removal of the Battle Impark Fund and Fee, and for any money held at the time of dissolution to be used for the creation and support of Scholarships and Bursaries?”

The Battle Impark Fund was instituted in 2009 to help students appeal parking tickets and towing fees from Impark. At the time of its creation, the KSA then cited Impark’s “continuing diabolical campaign of terror against the students of Kwantlen” as the inspiration for this fee.

“Do you approve of the removal of the Fair is Fair Fund and Fee, and for any money held at the time of dissolution to be used for the creation and support of Scholarships and Bursaries?”

The Fair is Fair Fund is a Special Purposes Fund established in 2009 which was “used to balance the marketing and promotions of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) by creating and distributing free marketing materials which offer an alternative view of the CFS.”

“Do you approve that all monies in the Public Interest Research Group Fund as of September 2019 be allocated to the creation and support of Scholarships and Bursaries?”

This fee was collected by the KSA and remitted to the Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group on a semesterly basis. In April 2018, KSA Council voted to stop remitting the collected fees to KPIRG after it came to light that one of the research group’s founders, Richard Hossein, had allegedly committed fraud, taking approximately $112,000 from the organization.

“It reduces the [fee] collection to $0, so students will no longer be paying for the fee,” says KSA President Joseph Thorpe. Right now, there is at least $100,000 in the KPIRG fund that would be released. The fee amount will remain the same, but the collection will be reduced to $0. In the future, council would be able to vote to start collecting the fee to fund a PIRG again.

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