What is the Referendum Question?
The referendum question posed to University of Manitoba graduate students in the 2018 UMGSA General Election will be:
- Do you support an increase to the UMGSA Operating Budget Fee of $4.62 per semester for each of the Fall and Winter semesters?
Why is There a Referendum Question on This Year’s Ballot?
For over ten years, no UMGSA fees have changed, however, prices for most goods and services have risen over that period. Unlike the student fees charged by UMSU, UMGSA fees do not automatically rise based on increases to the cost of living. In addition, the $30,000 per year commitment for ten years towards the construction of the Campus Daycare expansion was made two years ago without any new sources of funding to support that new and sizable contribution.
Even after finding significant savings over the course of this year, in the absence of new sources of funding, the Association will have insufficient funds to cover their expenses in coming years unless cuts are made to one or more sections of the budget. This will decrease funding available to graduate students for conference grants, special projects, events and much more.
After conducting a financial analysis of the Association’s finances, the Finance Committee recommends that the graduate student fee for the UMGSA Operating Budget be increased by $4.62 per semester for each of the Fall and Winter semesters, to commence in the Fall of 2018. If this increase is approved, graduate students would still be paying more than $20 less than undergraduates already pay to UMSU each semester.
How Much is the Operating Budget Fee Right Now?
The Operating Budget Fee has been $53.88 for the past ten years.
Where Does My Money Go?
The funds from the Operating Budget Fee go directly towards resources that support graduate students. This fee helps us to provide graduate students with Conference Grants, Special Project Grants, Emergency Grants, Department Grants, free use of our spaces, discounted printing, student advocacy, support from UMGSA staff and Executives and much more. Conference Grants alone provide individual graduate students with up to $750 in funding per fiscal year – so it’s very easy to get your money back (and then some).
Who Can Vote?
All graduate students registered at the University of Manitoba are eligible to vote.
How Can I Vote?
Voting will be held online from March 21st to 23rd, 2018. Check back here for a link when online voting goes live.