2011 CPI & Fee Increase Referendum
In the summer of 2010, the ULSU Executive embarked on a review of its fee structure upon learning of acute budgetary strains within ULSU budgets that threatened student services with future cutbacks. The Executive learned that ULSU fees on average were 18% below the national average of schools of a comparable size. Recognizing this and the needs of students, the Executive Council chose to ask students via referendum to approve a fee increase in order to sustain and enhance student services.
The ULSU made the unenviable choice to ask students to increase fees because the existing fee structure was not sustainable and threatened student support such as club funding, travel and conference grants, along with several other services. Rather than face future cutbacks to student services the ULSU asked its students to vote on the referendum questions.
In the end, a majority of students voted in favour of sustained and improved student services, ensuring that in the future all students at the University of Lethbridge can continue to access extraordinary services.
The ULSU General Election & Referendum process began February 7, 2011 and ended on March 11, 2011. The total voter turn out was 25%, with the Residence students having the highest participation of 63%.
QUESTION #1 - ULSU FEES TIED TO CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI)
Whereas the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) fees currently do not account for annual increases in inflation. And whereas this will inevitably result in cutbacks and reductions of current student service offerings, the ULSU wishes to pose the following question to its membership:
“Do you authorize the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union to tie the annual student fees it collects to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as determined by Statistics Canada, using 2011 as the base year for calculation, in order to account for annual inflation?”
YES votes: 919 vote - 54%
NO votes: 781 votes - 46%
QUESTION #2 - ULSU FEE INCREASE
Whereas increased enrollments at the University of Lethbridge, and increased membership of the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU), has produced strain on the ULSU Operations Budget, and whereas the ULSU favours increasing levels of student services, the ULSU wishes to pose the following question to its membership:
“Effective Fall 2012, do you authorize the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union to implement a one time increase in the annual fees it collects for operations to result in the following charge:
Full Time Students
From: $47.44/year ($23.72/semester) to: $57.44/year ($28.72/semester)
Part Time Students
From: $23.86/year ($11.93/semester) to: $28.86/year ($14.43/semester)?
YES votes: 982 votes - 58%
NO votes: 723 votes - 42%