The Smith Commerce Society (ComSoc) has increased their membership fee from $55 to $85 per student.
Students voted in favour of the fee increase at referendum on March 26. The increase will “equalize” resources with other faculty societies, increase financial support, and fund new projects, according to an email ComSoc executive team RMK sent to Commerce students on March 24.
“The student fee contributes directly to the ComSoc Operating Fund, which is the only source of funding for all ComSoc clubs and society activity,” RMK said in the email.
$17,100 of the student fee increase will go toward the compensation of the three executives and the Orientation head, according to a presentation at ComSoc’s most recent general assembly.
The email said ComSoc has “lower mandatory student fees” in comparison to other societies. The AMS membership fee—which encompasses all undergraduate students—is $65.09.
Only the Engineering Society (EngSoc) and Nursing Students Society had higher undergraduate mandatory fees than ComSoc—$86.28 and $61.75, respectively, compared to ComSoc’s original $55 fee.
The Computing Students Society has a mandatory fee of $1.13 and the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) has a mandatory fee of $34.30.
The Concurrent Education Student Association’s mandatory fee is $30 and the Physical Health Education and Kinesiology Student Association ask students for $27.
In the email, ComSoc said they hope to use the fee increase to create up to 50 paid positions to compensate students, as other faculty societies like ASUS and EngSoc have.
Discussions to increase the student fee started at the beginning of the year, team RMK told The Journal in a statement. They said in their discussions with co-chairs who head Commerce clubs, they learned ComSoc needs more capital for committees and conferences.
Keeping costs minimal is an “integral value” of the society, team RMK said. ComSoc hopes to develop subsidized events and provide autonomy to co-chairs over the long term.
“The current student fee did not reflect the society’s growth in sheer numbers and scope over the past 10 years,” they said.
At general assembly, a motion addressed the Society’s lack of compensation initiatives for “inequalities in student work,” as currently the executive team and Orientation head are not salaried.
With the fee increase, the three executive positions will be salaried at $15 per hour. Over the year, compensating the three executives will amount to $14,850 in total.
The Orientation head will also receive a salary of $15 per hour for the summer and winter terms, amounting to $2,250 in total.
Commerce, commerce society, Queen's, Smith, student fee
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