The Computing Student Association (COMPSA) is asking for a $14,800 rebate of computing students’ mandatory ASUS fee to increase orientation funding.
COMPSA asked on June 26 for the ASUS executives to transfer $14,700 in computing students’ mandatory ASUS fees. ASUS will make its decision in mid-August.
COMPSA plans to allocate $3,500 towards computing orientation week; $8,750 will help support computing clubs, professional development ventures, equity and academic support initiatives, and internal affairs. The rest of the funds will be used for various events that COMPSA plans to host in the fall and winter, COMPSA President Akash Singh explained.
Last years’ large event turnout motivated the COMPSA executives to increase orientation and school-year events’ capacity but found themselves facing budgetary restraints. COMPSA executives launched an Instagram survey to investigate the extent computing students utilized ASUS services in June. The survey received around 150 responses.
“What we expected to see [from the survey results] is what we saw. Overall, the computing student body is not engaging too much within ASUS services,” Singh said in an interview with The Journal.
Singh told The Journal 97 per cent of surveyed students didn’t use the ASUS jacket subsidy and only one respondent volunteered for ASUS.
After reviewing the survey results and COMPSA’s anticipated budget for upcoming events and programs, Singh decided on a rebate amount of $14,700 would be needed to expand events.
Singh explained how COMPSA would use the rebate amount to ASUS executives during the budget presentation on June 26.
“Any extra revenue coming back into COMPSA is going to ensure that students who in the past have not seen much value in COMPSA or have not engaged with us have a reason to do so,” Singh said.
If granted, the rebate will be a one-time payment. COMPSA has the lowest mandatory faculty society fee, sitting at $1.13 per student. To relieve the budgetary strain for future executives, Singh plans to propose an additional student fee for computing orientation or increase the current computing student fee during referendum in February.
In an interview with The Journal, ASUS President Amaiya Walters noticed there were discrepancies between the ASUS database and the data gathered during the COMPSA survey. The largest discrepancies were the amount of jacket subsidies used by computing students.
“In the 2022-23 academic year, 30 computing students asked for jacket reimbursement according to our data. Jacket reimbursements are around $500 each. COMPSA’s [survey] data does not reflect this,” Walters said.
Walters attributed the discrepancies in the survey to the low student sample size. Of 1,100 computing students, only around 150 students completed the survey.
Low participation in the survey means ASUS can’t depend solely on the survey data to decide on issuing a rebate amount. Walters will consider the information which ASUS has in their database.
“If COMPSA has enough funds to run orientation now, then we can continue to talk with COMPSA about some better data collection to see how computing students are using ASUS services. We can then give them a rebate later in the fall semester to run events and programs,” Walters said.
The next step is for ASUS to evaluate if the proposed rebate COMPSA suggested aligns fairly with their budget for orientation week.
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