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SU Elections 2023 Q&A: Business Students’ Association Referendum

The Students’ Union 2023 election will allow students enrolled in the faculty of business to decide on renewing the Business Students' Association Fee.

The Students’ Union 2023 election is giving students enrolled in the faculty of business, the opportunity to decide on renewing the Business Students’ Association (BSA) faculty association membership fee (FAMF).

The BSA’s FAMF goes toward providing students in the faculty of business at the University of Alberta with events, initiatives, and opportunities. This referendum is proposing a FAMF of $10 per fall and winter semester.

Representing the BSA is Emma Neilsen, a third year commerce student, and current vice-president (finance) for the BSA.

The following interviews have been edited for brevity and clarity.

What is this referendum trying to accomplish?

Emma Neilsen: We’re just trying to renew our FAMF. We’re renewing it at the same rate that it was previously. It’s basically just so we can continue offering services to the students, such as our conference funding, club funding, all that good stuff that we use our FAMF for.

For students who don’t know, what is the Business Students’ Association (BSA)?

Neilsen: We’re the faculty association for all undergraduate business students. We represent over 3,000 students in the Alberta School of Business, and we put on lots of events and initiatives. We work with the undergraduate office, and all the different associations to give students different experiences, events, and opportunities.

If this referendum passes, how much will students be paying and how was that cost determined?

Neilsen: It’s $10 per student for the winter and fall semester. And we don’t charge a fee for the spring and summer. The cost is the same as our previous FAMF, we’re renewing at the same rate. And it’s our historical rate.

Will all students be paying this fee?

Neilsen: So any on-campus undergraduate business student pays the fee, so it applies to both-full time and part-time students.

Why do you think students should care about the work being done by the BSA?

Neilsen: The BSA puts on a lot of events and initiatives for students that aren’t normally targeted by other business clubs, such as first-year students and international students. We put on things like the Winter Gala, and we do wellness initiatives, like our Cure for the Mondays. We have snacks outside the BSA office for any student. So we just do a lot of good work to increase the student experience that otherwise wouldn’t get done without us.

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Lily Polenchuk

Lily Polenchuk is the 2023-24 Managing Editor at The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 and 2022-23 News Editor, and 2022-23 Staff Reporter. She is in her second year, studying English and political science. She enjoys skiing, walks in the river valley, and traveling.

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