SBESS Referendum

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Photo by Jessica Dik

When students fill out their ballots on Feb. 4 and 5 they will have a long list of referenda questions to vote on. Of the eight questions, one is being proposed by the School of Business and Economics Students’ Society. The question proposes a raise in fees for business students.

SBESS president Evan Little explained that the compulsory non-tuition fee funds the extra-curricular activities in the school of business and economics. This includes events, speakers, clubs, case competitions and other services.

The current fee per student is $21.25 per term, but Little is looking to have it raised to $57.25.

He explained the increase is due to students wanting higher quality clubs, events and more opportunities. He is determined to accomplish that by means of a higher budget.

“We realize that we’ve kind of plateaued and that we cannot accomplish any more with the current level of funding,” he explained.

According to Little, the proposal for the fee increase works in collaboration with their campaign to build  “Canada’s best business school,” the slogan accompanying the construction of the Global Innovation Exchange building. He said they are attempting to line themselves up with their competitor schools, such as Queen’s University and Ryerson University.

“They are charging over 100 dollars per student, per term,” Little said.

Laurier’s fees are currently less than half of this, which he feels is holding them back from reaching the bar their competitor schools have set. The other schools have more exposure by hosting conferences and events that attract students from across Canada, he said.

“We don’t have an international case competition or conference at our school,” he added.

Since the campaigning period began, Little and members of the SBESS have been campaigning the SBE levy at booths in the Schlegel building.

They have also been active on social media and have used their website to create student awareness and answer questions.

“So far actually positive, it’s been really good.” Little said of the feedback so far.

When asked if he thinks students will make use of the opportunity that they are paying for, Little was optimistic.

“The one thing about Laurier … we have a very, very active student body,” he said. “To have 20 clubs in the business school is pretty phenomenal when you compare it to other schools in Canada.”

Little estimated that Laurier has about an 80 per cent involvement rate in which most people are involved in some way. He said they will be bringing in more events for people who are less involved in the business faculty.

Little explained that most business students don’t have co-op, but the events and exposure that could be brought to Laurier could benefit all students in terms of finding employment.

“They will have better employment opportunities and at the end of the day we’re adding value to the actual piece of paper you get when you graduate,” he said. “That’s what we really want to emphasize, that when you say you’re from Laurier you know, we want to make sure that we have this international recognition.”

 


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