Spring 2017

Referendum Platforms

Bylaw Change Referendum (Vote YES Campaign)


Whereas some of the proposed changes are required by the new Societies Act and amendments to the University Act;

Whereas other proposed changes will improve the Society’s ability to achieve its vision of improving the undergraduate student experience;

Whereas the change to the new Bylaws will require a transition period;

Be it resolved to adopt the new SFSS Bylaws, as attached as Attachment 1 to this referendum question, to take effect on May 1, 2018.

The SFSS Board of Directors is recommending a revised version of the society’s bylaws to be implemented May 1st 2018.

Why make changes?

  • In November 2016 the new BC Society act came into effect

  • In September 2015 the SFSS decided to formally change its governance structure by separating operations and governance, with the Board focusing on member engagement and strategic direction setting.

  • The current SFSS bylaws are a mismatch of patch work from nearly 50 years of the SFSS. Moreover the bylaws has failed time and time again to provide the society with the necessary guidance to govern effectively.

Summary of key changes

  • New simple definition of membership.

    • Membership is now defined as an undergraduate member at SFU enrolled in at least one course.

  • Changes to empower SFSS Council.

    • Council will now have proportional representation by faculty and be composed of 20 councilors.

    • Council will also be paid and increased stipend and be a large part of the society’s governance and membership engagement.

    • Council will also be elected during the Annual SFSS general election by students from their respective faculty.

  • Clubs, Student Unions and Constituency groups, will be mentioned the the society bylaws as an essential part of the SFSS.

  • Changes to the composition of The Board of Directors (BOD).

    • The BOD will now have 1 President and 4 Vice-Presidents

      • VP External

      • VP Finance

      • VP Engagement

      • VP Internal

    • The BOD will now have 4 At-Large Representatives, Faculty representation will be at council.

  • The BOD will now have a succession plan in the event a director resigns or is impeached.

  • The BOD will have the opportunity to call a by-election sooner in the year, as opposed to only 6 weeks into the Fall semester.

  • Updated language regarding the role of Independent Electoral Commission


The Board of Directors Encourages members to Vote Yes to this referendum campaign as it will allow the society to govern in a manner that is efficient and effective.

A “no” vote will result in the SFSS being out of step with the updated Provincial legislation along with numerous other difficulties.


Health and Dental Plan Referendum (Vote Yes Campaign)

Whereas the actual cost of the SFSS Extended Health and Dental Plan, launched in 2008, varies every year given increases in the cost of health and dental services, and increases in the number of claims made by undergraduate students;

Whereas the Student Society Fee collected to provide all members with health and dental Insurance cannot be adjusted keep pace with the increases in the cost of coverage;

Whereas the fixed Student Society Fee risks requiring a reduction in the level of coverage and service available to undergraduate students who have repeatedly described the Health and Dental Plan as one of their most valued SFSS services;

Whereas the Board will communicate the value of, and reason for making any change to the fee;

Do you grant the SFSS Board of Directors the authority to raise or reduce the SFSS Health and Dental Student Society Service Fee to a maximum of up to 5% in any given year for the next 3 years

The Society proposes a 5% change cap, annually for 3 years in total, to ensure uninterrupted coverage for students. The Society will inform members each year of fee changes and updates regarding benefits.

  • The total cost of the Health and Dental plan varies year to year based off the amount of student claims.

  • The current cost of the Health and Dental Extended Plan is $255. The Basic Plan is $198. [Link]

  • The Society is currently subsidizing the plan by $16.67 dollars per student, from the Health Plan Reserve Fund (HRF).

  • At the current rate the HRF will be depleted by Spring 2018. As of December 2016, there is $756,399 in the account.

  • The options available to the Society are to:

    • Cut benefits that students currently can claim.

    • Increase the Health and Dental plan fee.

The Board of Directors Encourages student to Vote Yes to this referendum campaign as it will allow students to keep the benefits they currently enjoy.

A “no” vote will result in the Board of Directors having to cut benefits.