ASUS ups two fees

Opt-outable fee to be used for as-yet undetermined service

Incoming ASUS President Jacob Mantle and incoming Vice-President Dominqiue Vanier want to put a service in the Red Room in Kingston Hall.
Incoming ASUS President Jacob Mantle and incoming Vice-President Dominqiue Vanier want to put a service in the Red Room in Kingston Hall.
Journal File Photo

The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) wants money to start a new service. They just don’t know what the service will do yet.

On March 26, ASUS Assembly voted to set aside a portion of their optional student fee each year to invest in a new service at their Annual General Meeting.

The society’s $5 opt-outable fee will increase to $8.57 and the mandatory fee will increase from $20.24 to $22.29 per student.

This money from the opt-outable fee, expected to total about $50,000 each year, will be managed by the ASUS Board of Directors. The mandatory fee is used for ASUS’s commissions.

ASUS has also created a new project manager position to supervise the development of the new service. The hiring process will begin in September.

The project manager’s duties include conducting market research to determine what kind of service is most needed. He or she will also oversee the development of the service once the proposal has been approved.

Outgoing ASUS President Elamin Abdelmahmoud said ASUS Assembly hasn’t decided what the new service will be, but ASUS has received extensive feedback from students.

“Many ideas were proposed by various students including an arcade, a bar, a theatre, a coffee shop or a permanent place for the Farmer’s Market. [The new executive] anticipates [doing] extensive research into what exactly is a need of students on campus combined with what is reasonably feasible for the Red Room and ASUS,” he said in an e-mail to the Journal.

Incoming ASUS Vice-President Dominique Vanier moved the motion.

Vanier said she wants the mandatory fee increase to go toward the Society Affairs commission—which deals with volunteer opportunities—and marketing. The opt-outable fee will be used for improving and creating services.

Vanier said ASUS is discussing acquiring commercial space in the Queen’s Centre, but their current focus is the Red Room in Kingston Hall. The Arts and Science ThankQ committee’s raising money to revitalize the room, used as a military hospital during the First and Second World Wars.

Vanier said the new service would employ students from all faculties. She said ASUS is planning to carry out surveys to determine how best to serve student needs.

“Ultimately the new service will be a result of an unfilled need that students have, and this niche can only be identified once market research and surveying is conducted of the student population,” she said.

“I definitely know we don’t need another coffee shop.”

Vanier said ASUS’s overarching goal is to expand its services.

Right now, ASUS services the ArtSci Exchange, faculty jackets and the ASUS movie theatre.

“Comparing ASUS to ... the other large faculty societies, it just makes the most sense to be able to benefit our students, being the biggest faculty society,” she said.

Incoming ASUS President Jacob Mantle said he didn’t have any ideas for what the service would be other than those that had been suggested.

“We want to find something that is really needed for the students, regardless of whether I want it myself.”

—With files from Gloria Er-Chua

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