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

The Students’ Union 2023 election is giving education students the opportunity to decide on renewing the Education Students' Association (ESA) fee.

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

ESA’s FAMF goes toward providing students with volunteer opportunities, events, advocacy, and academic supports, amongst other things. This referendum is proposing an annual FAMF of $8.

Representing ESA is Edward Tiet, a fourth-year education student at the University of Alberta, and current president of the ESA.

The following interviews have been edited for brevity and clarity.

What is this referendum trying to accomplish?

Edward Tiet: This referendum’s purpose is to get our Faculty Association Membership Fee (FAMF) approved in the faculty of education. The purpose of this fee is to help us pay for our social events, professional development sessions, and graduation banquet. We also host a lot of volunteer opportunities for our students.

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

Tiet: We represent all undergraduate students in the faculty of education. We are also members of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), as Student Local Number 1, meaning that we have the largest population here at the U of A, and we represent our education students.

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

Tiet: What we propose is $8 annually. We’ve decided to do $8 just because it was consistent for the first time when we had our membership fee active back in 2018.

Will all students be paying this fee?

Tiet: If this fee gets approved, then all undergraduate students in the faculty of education will have to pay this fee, but there is a refund mechanism for the full amount. Students will have until October 31 of each year to fill out a reimbursement form at the ESA office if they choose to.

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

Tiet: Students should care about the work that’s being done by the ESA because as educators we are professionals that come out to teach students. This is a good foundation to start your educational career.

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Lily Polenchuk

Lily Polenchuk is the 2024-25 Editor-in-Chief of The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 Managing Editor, 2023-24 and 2022-23 News Editor, and 2022-23 Staff Reporter. She is in her second year, studying English and political science.

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