ASFA

ASFA is funded and run by students for students, we encourage all of our members to get involved with us to have fun, make connections, and have an impact on ASFA itself. Community is key!

Students smiling

What is ASFA?

ASFA

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations represents all Concordia undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. At ASFA, we deliver social events, academic initiatives, and advocacy projects. We also perform our own administration, governance, and elections with elected student representatives, student councillors, and staff. In this way, ASFA is a member focused non-profit organization that strives to make a positive impact on student life and the campus community.

Member's Association

ASFA includes Member Associations that deliver their own social and academic events and initiatives. ASFA contributes to the campus community by supporting its Member Associations in their administration, governance, and elections so that Member Associations can enrich student life by directly reaching our membership. ASFA provides core funding for its Member Associations as well as the provisioning of a Special Projects Fund that is open to its membership and Member Associations. A full list of ASFA Member Associations can be found here.

What is A STUDENT UNION?

Student Unions

In Quebec, student unions are recognized with similar legal standing to labour unions, via the “Act respecting the accreditation and financing of students’ associations”. Democratic participation is what makes a union what it is. Democratic student associations operate in an “inverted pyramid” model: the more people involved in making a decision, the greater its legitimacy and authority.

KEY POINTS

Elections – Executives, independent councilors, and MA executives are all elected every winter semester. By-elections are held in the fall semester to fill any vacancies that arise.
General Assemblies – Meetings where all members are invited, and they may vote on, debate, propose and make amendments to policy and actions.
ASFA Council – Meets monthly to discuss and vote on ASFA business during the year. Has many subcommittees to do ASFA work in greater detail.

Mission

ASFA’s mission is whatever its members decide is important. Broadly, student associations do 4 things, called the “ACES”:
- Advocacy – Championing issues related to the rights and wellbeing of students and their communities
- Community-Building – Fostering connections, development, and wellbeing of students with things like resources, funding, space, etc.
- Events – Organizing events big and small, of all kinds
- Services – Using the advantage of pooled resources to provide services that help meet students needs

POLICY

Each of ASFA’s Policies can be found on our website here, and MA By-Laws can be found here. Policies are reviewed and created by the Policy Committee, which presents them to Council for approval.

By-Laws: Highest level governing authority. Broad, legalistic, structural. Requires referendum to change.
Standing Regulations: Set by council with a 2/3 vote. Covers wider scope of areas with more detail than bylaws.
MA By-Laws: Governing documents for Member Associations. Sometimes different than ASFA bylaws, other times not.
Judicial Code of Procedure: Rules governing an arms-length body for reviewing complaints and interpreting the by-laws and standing regulations.
Ethical Purchasing PolicyPolicy against Harassment, Discrimination and Violence

Inverted pyramid infographic of the roles at ASFA. Top of the chart are ASFA Members-at-Large. Below are 33 member associations (MAs). Below is the ASFA council and bottom is ASFA executives. Staff is at the bottom, but do not hold any decisive power.

LOYOLA COMMITTEE

Loyola Committee?

The Loyola Committee acts as a “federation within a federation”, representing the 9 programs based at the Loyola campus. The Loyola Committee amplifies the voices of Loyola students to make sure their voices are heard at ASFA and on campus.

Funding

Funding and Fee-Levy

ASFA receives its core funding through a fee-levy of credits allocated from undergraduate courses taken within the faculty of arts and sciences. The fee-levy was voted on and approved by the membership, all undergraduate Arts and Science students at Concordia. Any augmentation to ASFAs fee-levy must be put to a vote of its membership. ASFA derives its ability to levy fees from the Quebec Accreditation Act.

The fee-levy provides ASFA with $1.22 per credit, and is inclusive of all credits allocated for all undergraduate Arts and Sciences courses. For example, when a student signs up for a 3 credit course ASFA receives 3 x $1.22 for a total of $3.66. The fee-levy is paid as part of tuition.

At the start of each semester, the university transfers the fee-levy to ASFA as a lump sum. However, if a student leaves a class or fails to pay their tuition the corresponding fee-levy per credit is deducted from ASFA’s funding. In this way, ASFA’s funding is contingent but also stable.
Additional funding for ASFA and its Member Associations comes from ticket and merchandise sales at events. ASFA also applies for and receives funding for specific projects from sources on campus. ASFA and the Member Associations can seek sponsorships, however, ASFA is not a registered charity and cannot give tax receipts for donations.

Opt-Out

Students are able to opt-out from the $1.22 per credit fee-levy. Students may opt-out at any point in the semester for reimbursement of fees incurred and paid in that current semester. All students requesting reimbursement must provide proof of enrollment as well as proof of payment of tuition to determine the amount of credits to be reimbursed for. There is no deadline or opt-out date within each semester but opt-out reimbursements must be made within the current semester and cannot be applied for retroactively.

Students are not required to provide justification for opting out. However, students who opt-out are not eligible to attend ASFA or Member Association events in that semester. Please contact ASFA at finance@asfa.ca to inquire about opting out.

Please note that ASFA only receives and therefore can only reimburse the $1.22 fee-levy. Additional fees levied on Arts and Sciences undergraduate students do not flow through to ASFA.

By-Laws and Governing documents

By-Laws

ASFA's by-laws are the highest governing document of the organization. They are the legal codes governing the association, and they are adopted by votes of the membership.

Standing Regulations

ASFA’s standing regulations detail the rules and procedures governing ASFA and the mas. Standing regulations are amendable by ASFA council.

Judicial Code of Procedure

The judicial code of procedure details the process for dispute resolution within ASFA.

Policy against Harassment, Discrimination and Violence

The purpose of this policy is to protect individuals from any harm, such as discrimination, sexual harassement and violence, within the ASFA community and to hold members of the ASFA accountable for their actions.

*Important notice as of January 30, 2020, complainants will no longer have the ability to file an anonymous complaint nor receive an advocate from the center for gender advocacy and sexual assault resource centre (SARC).

Ethical Purchasing Policy

The ethical purchasing policy sets out the requirements all purchases made by ASFA and MAs over $500.

Sustainable Event Guide

While not an ASFA policy, this guide produced by Concordia is a helpful tool for making your events as sustainable as possible.