TCSA Spring 2019 Elections promotional material, courtesy of TCSA.

Included in this year’s electoral period are three referendum questions put forward by the Association. Any referendum question voted upon by Trent Undergraduates requires a minimum of 15% of Trent’s student population to vote on the question for it to be binding. Issues change each year, but for 2019 TCSA Members will vote on increases to fees for TCSA run student services (The Clubs Fee and Food Bank Fee) as well as a significant policy document developed through consultation with Levy Groups and students at Trent the (Trent University Peterborough Undergraduate Levy Policy).

If you would like to vote, please look for your ballot in your Trent University email account from March 12 to March 15. Keep in mind that once you open your ballot you need to be sure that you take the time to submit it – don’t close it before completing the survey; otherwise, it may be spoilt. If you have any questions about our elections or Referenda, please contact us at [email protected] Included below are the Referenda for the TCSA’s 2018 Spring Elections:

Referendum Regarding the TCSA Club Funding Fee

The Trent Central Student Association currently has more than 70 registered clubs and groups who provide services, support, and programming for a variety of identities and interests. Clubs and Groups are essential to campus life in their ability to provide a space where each student can network with other students with similar interests, aspirations, and career goals. In 2017-2018 the Association provided more than $50 000 to various clubs and groups on campus and this year, with the growing number of clubs, it is expected that the Association will see that number increase significantly. Aside from direct funding for operations, the Association also provides anti-oppression, financial, and event facilitation training for clubs and groups and would like to continue to diversify the opportunities for personal and professional development for all students through its Clubs and Groups Program in the coming years. As such, the TCSA is asking its members for a $0.50 increase to the Clubs and Groups levy fee from $9.50 to $10.00 per student. This increase will allow the TCSA to increase funding available for groups and also provide funds for more robust training and development opportunities.

Referendum Regarding the TCSA Food Bank Fee

The Trent Central Student Association collects in trust a food levy every year from each of our members to help aid and assist students with acute financial difficulties with supplementary funds for buying basic necessities of food or toiletries. In 2017-2018 the association over-spent on the Grocery Assistance Program by $2400 due to an influx of applications and for the current academic year, the Association is already $8000 over-budget as the need for Grocery Assistance from the student body continues to rise. While the TCSA has already made the decision to decrease assistance amounts from $80, $160, and $240 to $40, $80, and $120 respectively, the sustainability of the Grocery Assistance Program will be called into question if need continues to trend upwards. As such, the Association is asking for an increase of $1.88 for the Grocery Assistance Program levy fee which will bring the annual levy of $1.62 to $3.50 per student. This increase will allow us to continue to offer the Grocery Assistance Program to any student who needs it, as well as allowing us to restore our original assistance amounts.

Referendum Regarding the Trent University Peterborough Undergraduate Levy Policy

Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) referenda question was put forward by students in the Spring of 2018 which contributed to the identification of a gap in University policy and provincial legislation dealing with Levy Fees. As a result, a committee was struck to propose and draft a solution to this gap that would introduce protections and procedures for the creation, collection, and distribution of levy fees by Spring 2019. The committee was comprised of representatives of groups that receive levy fees and students at large and met bi-weekly to construct a policy with the following purpose:

A. Clearly define Trent University’s unique levy fee structure and the relationships that it creates between both groups that receive levy fees, Trent students, the TCSA, groups that receive levy fees and the Trent University administration;
B. Explain the role of groups that receive levy fees in the Trent University community;
C. Outline the process for creation, amendment, and dissolution of a levy fee through the TCSA referenda process;
D. Detail procedures regarding levy fees that are both refundable and non-refundable;
E. Coordinate financial accountability to and complaints processes for Trent University students;
F. Provide a course of action for groups that receive levy fees that are low-functioning and/or non-compliant; and
G. Introduce a Levy Council through which these procedures and practices can be maintained with the same membership, voting, and quorum as the Special Committee on Levies.

If you would like to read the policy in its entirety, please click here.