SASC fee increase, bylaw changes, fee reductions pass, Bike Kitchen referendum fails

Three of the four referendum questions on this year’s ballot passed.

The fee increase for the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC), bylaw and constitutional changes and the digital opt-out and fee reduction referendum questions passed. The Bike Kitchen fee increase referendum failed.

To pass, the number of votes needed to reach quorum is 4,762 ‘yes’ votes and a majority of people who voted must have voted ‘yes.’ Voter turnout for elections as a whole was 17.4 per cent.

The SASC referendum asked for a fee increase of $6.42 in the Sexual Assault Support Services Fund for the academic year 2022/23, in response to a tripling in the number of people using its services.

“​​We're really excited that it passed so we can continue to expand the services that SASC provides,” AMS President Cole Evans said.

The digital opt-out and fee reduction question proposed lowering student fees by $3.37 and allowing students to opt-out digitally of certain AMS fees.

“We want to try and make some of our fees make a bit more sense for students and obviously students agree with us that there is some room for improvement,” Evans said.

The AMS bylaw and constitutional referendum included some relatively straightforward changes and others that were more contentious proposals, including allowing the Finance Committee to approve budget amendments under $5,000 without going through AMS Council.

The Bike Kitchen’s referendum question asked for a fee increase of $3.86 because of financial difficulties due to drops in revenue because of the pandemic. The fee increase was meant to provide the shop with immense financial stability and allow them to return to functioning at pre-COVID-19 levels.

This question was the only referendum that failed.

Bike Kitchen Assistant Manager Andrea Sandeen said the support shown by the community makes her feel “more affirmed in … the value of the work that we're doing.”

Going forward the Bike Kitchen will have to re-evaluate its budget and increase some prices, but is still focused on “balancing accessibility with financial stability for the shop.”

Follow us at @UbysseyNews on Twitter and follow our election coverage starting February 28. This article is part of our 2022 AMS elections coverage.