Students at Woodsworth College will go to the polls at the beginning of February to vote on a proposed fee increase of $5 per student per session. The Woodsworth College Students’ Association (WCSA) hosted a town hall on January 25, where students could ask questions about the increase and the WCSA itself.
The increase would apply to both full-time and part-time students, raising the sessional membership fees from $7.50 to $12.50 for both the fall and winter terms. It would also raise the fees from $15 to $20 for the summer session.
For the increase to take effect, the referendum needs a simple majority vote in favour. Quorum for the vote is set at 5 per cent of constituents.
WCSA Vice-President of Financial Affairs Rohan Shah explained that the WCSA is advocating for the raise as a long-term measure to sustain future boards of directors. According to Shah, last year’s board ran a $36,000 deficit, forcing the current board to cut this year’s budget by almost 12 per cent.
During the town hall question period, which was also attended by about 30 people, students asked about how the money would be allocated. Vice-President of Public Relations Amanda Li explained that while the current board could recommend how to allocate the funds in their transition packages for future board members, their constitution does not allow the future allocation of funds.
Current WCSA leadership identified a need to allocate more resources to the portfolios of new positions such as Mental Health Director, Equity Director, and International Student Director. They believe that the additional funds will enable more perks, including an increase in discounted sports tickets, lowered cost of events, increased office hours, and continuance of the 5 cent printing service. There was also discussion at the event about whether funds would be allocated to the Woodsworth Inclusive (WiNC), which previously considered holding its own levy referendum.
The referendum voting period is February 5–9. The WCSA will set up polling stations in the lobby of Woodsworth College Residence and in Woodsworth College in front of Kruger Hall. Students can also vote online.