University of Victoria Grad Student Society

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Notice of GSS referendum

NOTICE: Buidling Renovation and GSS Fee Referendum

The UVIC Graduate Student's Society will be holding a fee increase referendum on November 4-6, 2015.

 

Referendum result

 

 

Question

Answer

Percent For

Votes Cast For

Status

QUESTION 1 A - BUILDING RENOVATION
Do you support the plan to renovate the restaurant interior and entrance in the Halpern Centre for Graduate Students, with no fee increases?
No 24 86  
  Yes 76 271 Passed
QUESTION 1 B - BUILDING RENOVATION
If a vote in favour of renovation passes, which of the following renovation options do you prefer?
OPTION A: the FULL SCOPE proposal, including upgrades to the restaurant interior and structural changes to the restaurant and washroom entrances, at an estimated cost of $617,077 ($526,000, plus $91,077 for equipment, completion, contingency and taxes) 65 215 Passed
  OPTION B: the PARTIAL SCOPE proposal, including upgrades to the restaurant interior and cosmetic changes to the restaurant entrance, at an estimated cost of $503,281 ($429,000 plus $74,281 for equipment, completion, contingency and taxes). 35 117  
QUESTION 2 – FOOD BANK
Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $1.00 to support the Campus Food Bank in the UVIC Student Union Building?
No 24 87  
  Yes 76 274 Passed
QUESTION 3 – CFUV RADIO
Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $0.50 to support CFUV Radio programming featuring UVIC graduate students’ research?
No 46 165  
  Yes 54 197 Passed
QUESTION 4 – UNIVERSITY 101
Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $0.50 to support graduate student involvement in UVIC’s University 101 program?
No 49 176  
  Yes 51 182 Passed
QUESTION 5  – WUSC
Do you support a $1.00 fee increase to support the World University Services of Canada (Student Refugee Support)?
No 27 98  
  Yes 73 259 Passed
QUESTION 6 – CONFERENCE TRAVEL GRANT
Do you support the GSS establishing a travel grant fee of $4.25 per term, to be increased annually by the Consumer Price Index, to support the Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant Fund?
No 43 154  
  Yes 57 206 Passed
QUESTION 7 –  DISTANCE STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT
Do you support the GSS establishing a travel grant fee of $1.00 per term, to be increased annually by the Consumer Price Index, to support the Distance Graduate Student Travel Grant Fund?
No 49 175  
  Yes 51 184 Passed

 

 

 

Update (November 27, 2015): Electoral Appeals Committee affirms result of referendum.

Notice of Electoral Appeal Committee decision regarding the appeal from Mr. Ali Esmaeili [PDF]

Notice of Electoral Appeal Committee decision regarding the appeal from Ms. Theresa Hunter [PDF]

 

UPDATE (November 6, 2015, 11:50 pm):

Preliminary Results have been reviewed by the electoral officer and posted.

 

CONTENTS:

  1. Who can vote?
  2. Where and how to vote?
  3. When can I vote?
  4. What will it mean for my fees and for the building if the referendum questions pass?
  5. Doesn’t the GSS already support the travel grants? What about the food bank, CFUV and WUSC?
  6. What are the referendum questions?
  7. I want to campaign for the Yes or No side. How can I do that?
  8. I want to talk to other GSS members about this vote, but I don’t want to run a campaign. What are my options?
  9. Where can I learn more about the rules for this referendum?
  10. How did we get here? Why is the GSS holding this refreendum? More historical background please!
  11. I have other questions! Who can I contact?
  12. Registered campaign sides

referendum notice poster

The University of Victoria Graduate Students’ Society (GSS) will be holding a fee increase referendum for specific programs, and a referendum on a proposal for renovation the Grad House restaurant, on November 4-6, 2015.

 

 

 

Who can vote?

All currently registered UVIC graduate students can vote in this referendum.

 

Where and how to vote?

Graduate students can vote online at https://webvote.uvic.ca

 

When can I vote?

Polling opens at 9 am on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, and closes at 4pm on Friday, November 6, 2015.

 

 

What will it mean if the YES or NO side wins on these questions?

 

 

On the building renovation referendum:

If the YES side wins in the Building Question, the GSS will proceed to get a full architectural design for the selected option, and then to an open bidding process for contractors to complete the project. Once bids are received, the GSS Executive Board will review the bids and decide (based on the price offered) whether to proceed with the renovation. Any renovation would take place over the summer of 2016.

The building renovation will not require members to pay any new fees or fee increases. The renovation will be financed using our existing savings for renovations (accumulating since 2008) and a loan, as follows: GSS members currently pay a capital fee each term. Each year a portion of the Capital Fee revenue is used to purchase equipment and furnishings, or make minor repairs (~$20,000). The remaining amount (at least $30,000) is set aside into our Building Fund, which is restricted in use only for renovations. The renovation will be funded using existing savings in our Capital and Building Funds. The GSS will borrow to cover a portion of the renovation, and this loan will be repaid by continuing to allocate a portion of our Capital Fee to renovation funds. The expected term of repayment is 7 years.

If the NO side wins on the building referendum, the GSS will end the process to renovate the Grad Centre restaurant space, and there will be no renovation of the space.

 

You can view the designs here:

 

Full scope design:

Full scope cross section view

Full scope cross section view

 

Full scope Area plan (showing changes)

Full scope area plan

Full scope artistic rendering

Full scope artistic rendering

 

 

Partial scope design:

Partial scope cross section view
reduced scope cross section view
Partial scope area plan (showing changes)

reduced scope area plan

 
Partial scope artistic rendering

reduced scope artistic rendering

 

Summary of space changes under each proposals:

Chart of building changes in full and reduced scope designs

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On the fee referendum question:

Student fees

GSS fees vary depending on registration. The following charts compare the current GSS membership fee for regular registration, off campus, and co-op students. The comparison is between the current fee, and the resulting fee if every fee increase question passed.

Table fee change regular registration

table fee changes co-op students

table fee changes off campus students

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Doesn’t the GSS already support the travel grants and these other groups?

Travel Grants

The GSS currently funds the Travel Grant Program and the Distance Student Travel through the Operating Fund. If the referendum passes, the budget for the travel grant programs will be approximately the same, but will be charged in addition to the Operating Fund fee. Over time, the contribution to the travel grant programs will also increase with graduate enrolment and the Consumer Price Index. Thus, if the referendum passes, there will be more available funding for the Society’s general operations budget, and the funding for travel grants will be secured and remain proportional to enrolment.

 

University 101, the Campus Food Bank, and CFUV

In 2012 the GSS was approached by three groups for support. GSS Grad Council agreed to fund University 101 , CFUV’s campus radio program featuring graduate student research, and the Campus Food Bank operated by the UVSS.

Grad Council decided to include these contributions in the Operating Fund budget for three years. After three years of contributions these questions would be put to members in a referendum for ongoing support to these programs. This plan was approved at the March 2013 Semi-Annual General Meeting as part of budget discussions, and reaffirmed in three subsequent budgets.

This referendum is a result of that plan.

 

WUSC

UVIC WUSC chapter’s primary function is to run the Student Refugee Program (SRP) on campus. Sponsoring four students each year from refugee camps to pursue their post-secondary studies at UVic. The sponsored students receive Permanent Residence status upon arrival in Canada. All fees collected goes directly to the sponsored students’ budgets. This includes the cost of accommodation, tuition, books, and other living expenses.

GSS members currently contribute $2 per term to WUSC. Due to the escalating refugee crisis in Syria and its surrounding areas, the GSS Executive Board decided to give members the option to increase this contribution by $1.

 

Summary of changes to program funding sources

chart changes to how programs will be funded

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What are the referendum questions being asked?

Establishing designated fees for designated programs

Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $ 1 to support the Campus Food Bank in the UVIC Student Union Building?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $ 0.50 to support CFUV Radio programming featuring UVIC graduate students’ research?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $ 0.50 to support graduate student involvement in UVIC’s University 101 program?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

Increasing the WUSC (Student Refugee Program) fee

Do you support a $1 fee increase to support the World University Services of Canada (Student Refugee Support)?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

Establishing designated fees for GSS TRAVEL GRANTS

“Do you support the GSS establishing a travel grant fee of $4.25 per term, to be increased annually by the Consumer Price Index, to support the Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant Fund?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

Do you support the GSS establishing a travel grant fee of $1 per term, to be increased annually by the Consumer Price Index, to support the Distance Graduate Student Travel Grant Fund?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

BUILDING RENOVATION (no fee increase proposed)

Do you support the plan to renovate the restaurant interior and entrance in the Halpern Centre for Graduate Students, with no fee increases?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO

If a vote in favour of renovation passes, which of the following renovation options do you prefer?

[ ]  OPTION A: the FULL SCOPE proposal, including upgrades to the restaurant interior and structural changes to the restaurant and washroom entrances, at an estimated cost of $617,077 ($526,000, plus $91,077 for equipment, completion, contingency and taxes)

[ ]  OPTION B: the PARTIAL SCOPE proposal, including upgrades to the restaurant interior and cosmetic changes to the restaurant entrance, at an estimated cost of $503,281 ($429,000 plus $74,281 for equipment, completion, contingency and taxes).

 

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I want to campaign for the “Yes” or “No” side. How can I do that?

Any member of the GSS may register to campaign during this referendum process. You may campaign on one or all of the questions.

Formal campaigners will have an opportunity to submit campaign material for posting on the GSS website, and have it linked to the main referendum site. Each campaign group can also have 50 posters copied at the GSS office (black and white on colour paper).

To register a campaign side, contact the electoral officer, David Schostek, at votegss@uvic.ca. Registration of campaign sides begins Oct 8, and ends Nov 6 with closing of the polls.

Campaign period begins when someone is registered, and ends Nov 6 with closing of the polls.

 

I want to talk to other GSS members about this vote, but I don’t want to run a campaign. What are my options?

The GSS supports free expression and debate, and does not restrict communications about GSS elections and referenda. Every UVIC graduate student is strongly encouraged to discuss and debate the issues in this referendum with other members in any forum they choose (conversation in your department, talking to friends, using email lists or facebook, etc). We also encourage graduate students to use the twitter hashtag #GSSref to share their views with other GSS members on social media.

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How did we get here? Why is the GSS holding this referendum?

You can view documents related to the history of this referendum here. 

Where can I learn more about the rules for this referendum?

GSS referenda are governed by the society’s bylaws. You can view the GSS bylaws here:

 

I have other questions! Who can I contact?

You can contact the GSS Electoral Officer, David Schostek at votegss@uvic.ca.

 

Registered campaign sides

There is a registered Yes campaign

YES SIDE           NO SIDE

 

 

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Name Question Answer Percent For Votes Cast For Status
GSS Referendum November 4-6 2015        
  QUESTION 1 A - BUILDING RENOVATION
Do you support the plan to renovate the restaurant interior and entrance in the Halpern Centre for Graduate Students, with no fee increases?
No 24 86  
    Yes 76 271 Passed
           
  QUESTION 1 B - BUILDING RENOVATION
If a vote in favour of renovation passes, which of the following renovation options do you prefer?
OPTION A: the FULL SCOPE proposal, including upgrades to the restaurant interior and structural changes to the restaurant and washroom entrances, at an estimated cost of $617,077 ($526,000, plus $91,077 for equipment, completion, contingency and taxes) 65 215 Passed
    OPTION B: the PARTIAL SCOPE proposal, including upgrades to the restaurant interior and cosmetic changes to the restaurant entrance, at an estimated cost of $503,281 ($429,000 plus $74,281 for equipment, completion, contingency and taxes). 35 117  
           
  QUESTION 2 – FOOD BANK
Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $1.00 to support the Campus Food Bank in the UVIC Student Union Building?
No 24 87  
    Yes 76 274 Passed
           
  QUESTION 3 – CFUV RADIO
Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $0.50 to support CFUV Radio programming featuring UVIC graduate students’ research?
No 46 165  
    Yes 54 197 Passed
           
  QUESTION 4 – UNIVERSITY 101
Do you support the GSS establishing a per-term fee for ON CAMPUS graduate students in the amount of $0.50 to support graduate student involvement in UVIC’s University 101 program?
No 49 176  
    Yes 51 182 Passed
           
  QUESTION 5  – WUSC
Do you support a $1.00 fee increase to support the World University Services of Canada (Student Refugee Support)?
No 27 98  
    Yes 73 259 Passed
           
  QUESTION 6 – CONFERENCE TRAVEL GRANT
Do you support the GSS establishing a travel grant fee of $4.25 per term, to be increased annually by the Consumer Price Index, to support the Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant Fund?
No 43 154  
    Yes 57 206 Passed
           
  QUESTION 7 –  DISTANCE STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT
Do you support the GSS establishing a travel grant fee of $1.00 per term, to be increased annually by the Consumer Price Index, to support the Distance Graduate Student Travel Grant Fund?
No 49 175  
    Yes 51 184 Passed