Student Constables and Golden Words denied fee increases in referendum

Campus groups including MUSE Magazine and OPIRG granted new fees

Image by: Victoria Gibson
Proposed fee increases for Queen's Student Constables and Golden Words failed to pass in the winter referendum.

Along with the exhilaration of AMS executive and Rector elections came an unfortunate announcement for Student Constables and Golden Words staff. 

The Queen’s Student Constable (StuCon) service and Golden Words were the only two groups on this year’s winter referendum to have their proposed fee increases voted down.

StuCons had sought an increase in their mandatory fee from $10.53 to $11.53. 

Chief Constable Matt Vrbanac, ArtSci ’15, said that the group is “certainly disappointed” about the result. 

“Student groups are mandated to use our service when they host large-scale events and it would’ve meant a lot to them if it had passed,” he told The Journal via email. 

“However, we are still dedicated to finding ways in which to make the Student Constables more accessible to all students so that we can better serve the Queen’s community.”

Golden Words co-Editor-in-Chief Sam Codrington, Sci ’17, said he was equally disappointed by the results. 

“It’s especially frustrating given it was such a modest amount and much-needed for our newspaper to remain solvent in the long term,” he said.

He says during next year’s referendum the humour publication will be better at communicating why they need to raise funds and the fiscal efficiency of the newspaper’s operations. 

“However, we will continue doing our best to be as funny and entertaining as we can be, and hopefully there will be a different result next year.” 

Take a look at the full referendum results.


Meanwhile, all other fees were approved, including OPIRG and MUSE Magazine, which have both had their fees voted down in the past. 

OPIRG’s Program and Outreach Coordinator Emily Wong, ArtSci ’15, said the group was very pleased with the result. 

“Although having to campaign again was not ideal especially after winning the [nullified referendum] it’s been incredible to see such an outpouring of support from our volunteers and supporters,” she said. 

“Now that our referendum campaigning is finally over, we’re excited to get back to what’s important: inspiring research, education, and action on social and environmental justice.”

For MUSE, who had lost the referendum vote for the past three years, the victory was even sweeter. The magazine had been struggling financially, Editor-in-Chief Abigail Conners said.

“Finally establishing a student fee this year is so huge for us. We were nervous going into it, but we worked really hard, and we’re proud of the campaign effort we put forth,” Conners, ArtSci ’16, said.

She said the win was a weight off of MUSE’s shoulders, as they’ll now have the financial security to improve the quality of the publication and increase circulation without charging students for each copy. 

Conners added that campaign rules this year were beneficial to clubs vying for a fee, as they were allowed to generate awareness both on campus and on social media. 

“The future of MUSE looks bright — I’m excited to watch the club grow after I graduate. I really feel like we’re on the upward swing,” she said.


ams referendum, Golden Words, MUSE Magazine, OPIRG, Referendum, Student Constables

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