Spring 2014

Platforms below are for ‘Yes’ sides only. The IEC did not receive registrations for ‘No’ sides for any referendum question

*Only undergraduates registered in a program within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or currently (Spring 2014) taking a course within the faculty this semester may vote on this question


Extended Health and Dental Plan Question 1

Vote YES to Referendum Question # 1 – Vote YES for an Extended Health and Dental Plan that provides greater flexibility and suits your choice and healthcare needs!

The SFSS Extended Health and Dental Plan was launched in 2008 at a fixed fee of $198.00 with no mechanism to increase the fee to keep pace with inflation, except via referendum. With the passage of time, higher cost of healthcare services covered by the Plan along with an increase in the usage of the Plan by SFU students resulted in necessary benefit cuts to the Plan three times in order to avoid increasing the Plan fee.

Through multiple surveys conducted by the Plan’s administrator, the results clearly showed that a lot of students would prefer to pay higher fees to have a higher level of coverage while others would prefer to keep fees as low as possible even if that meant cutting down on some of the benefits the Plan provides. Through dialogue with the Plan’s administrator and due to operational and technological improvements on the administrator’s side, the SFSS is now able to provide a Flexible Plan that can accommodate a greater range of SFU students’ choice and healthcare needs, allowing those students who want higher benefits to pay a higher fee and those students who prefer lower coverage to pay a lower fee. Under the Flexible Plan, students would automatically be enrolled for enhanced benefits at a cost of $255.00 per year, but would have the option to choose the Basic Plan with reduced benefits at a cost of $198.00 (current fee), or opt out entirely if they are covered by an equivalent health and/or dental Plan.

However, in order for this Plan to come in to place, we – the SFSS Board of Directors –encourage SFU students to “Vote YES to Referendum Question # 1”. Detailed information on the Flexible Plan and description of coverage increases for the 2014-15 Plan Policy year can be found at www.sfss.ca/HealthPlanQ1.

Please do not hesitate to contact pres@sfss.ca with any questions, suggestions or comments that you may have.

 


Extended Health and Dental Plan Question 2

Vote YES to Referendum Question # 2 – Vote YES to give the SFSS Board of Directors more options than to simply reduce your Extended Health and Dental Plan benefits, when faced with a Plan fee increase!

The SFSS Extended Health and Dental Plan was launched in 2008 at a fixed fee of $198 with no mechanism to increase the fee to keep pace with inflation, except via referendum. When the Plan was introduced, SFU students voted in favour of its coverage levels as much as they voted for its price ceiling. However, over the years, the SFSS has made necessary benefit cuts to the Plan three times in order to avoid increasing the Plan fee, for the following reasons:

  1. The possibility to increase the Plan fee does not currently exist (except via referendum).
  2. Higher cost of healthcare services covered by the Plan.
  3. An increase in the usage of the Plan by SFU students

The SFSS Board of Directors – following a recommendation from the Extended Health and Dental Plan Committee – are encouraging SFU students to “Vote Yes to Referendum Question # 2” and authorize the Board to either reduce benefits (if and when necessary) OR increase the Plan fee by a maximum of up to 5% in any given year (as an alternative to the reduction of benefits). When voting on this question, please consider the following information:

  1. The SFSS Extended Health and Dental Plan Committee and Board of Directors already have the authority to cut benefits (equivalent to the value of an increase in Plan fee).
  2. Any motion regarding an increase in Plan fee will be posted on the SFSS website and social media, SFSS Council’s agenda, as well as through an email to all SFSS members, four weeks in advance of being considered at Board.
  3. Any motion regarding an increase in Plan fee (to maintain coverage levels) will only be considered when faced with a reduction in Plan Benefits.
  4. The authority to increase the Plan fee by a maximum of up to 5% in any given year is effective as of the 2015-16 Plan Policy year.

Please do not hesitate to contact pres@sfss.ca with any questions, suggestions or comments that you may have.


Society of Arts and Social Sciences Establishment

The Society of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) has been acting as the Faculty Student Union for Arts and Social Sciences over the course of the last three years. Since its inception, SASS has worked to create a better University experience for the students of our Faculty.

LOGO2To accomplish this, the organization has put on numerous events and initiatives including but not limited to Arts Week, Faculty Debates, Formal Banquets, and the current establishment of a
scholarship program. Our hallmark event is the annual SASSquatch Frosh, a full weekend in September that brings together over 150 first-year students to welcome them to SFU. Through this organization and its projects, the students of the Arts and Social Sciences have seen a stronger network and community develop within the Faculty.

The Society of Arts and Social Sciences has operated as a student union since 2011, but it was necessary for SFSS by-laws to be changed in order to allow for Faculty Student Unions to officially be part of the structure of student governance at SFU. This was achieved in April 2013, and this year SASS is finally able to take the next step for the students of this faculty and become the first official Faculty Student Union at our University. Vote yes to give a greater voice to you and your fellow students, and to make the Arts and Social Sciences the most vibrant faculty at SFU. Vote yes to SASS and make history at SFU!