Fine arts for all
FASA’s first General Assembly officially ratifies the organization into existence
And so it was, in the midst of the University of Regina’s theatre department’s fight to maintain free admission to its shows, that the Fine Arts Students’ Association (FASA) was born.
Or, it was officially brought into existence by its membership by the ratification of its new constitution after nearly five years of being defunct.
FASA had been operating for the last year, but it wasn’t until Feb. 29 that the organization held its first general assembly.
The constitution is basic stuff, and going through one item by item can try everyone’s patience.
This wasn’t so on Wednesday, however, with the 17 people in attendance flying through the constitution in less than an hour, picking out grammatical errors instead of organizational ones. Most of the hour was spent discussing how a dissolution clause would be added and implemented in the constitution.
Of note in the constitution of FASA is how their President’s Advisory Council (PAC) funding, which is given to faculty student associations by the University of Regina Students’ Union based on the number of students enrolled in the faculty, is divided amongst the department student organizations that represent students in the departments of media production and studies, music, theatre, and visual arts.
Each of the four student organizations at the department level will receive equal amounts of PAC funding. FASA will receive 10 per cent of the per-semester PAC funding, while each of the remaining organizations will each receive 25 per cent of the remaining 90 per cent of the funding, or 22.5 per cent of total PAC funding each semester.
When asked why FASA would be dividing PAC funding equally, and not based on enrollment per department, URSU Fine Arts Director and FASA President Jordan Palmer replied that the equal division of funding was to ensure minimal rivalry between organizations.
“When distributing it between fine arts societies we wanted to distribute it evenly, because if it were to be distributed by enrollment in each department, the department with the highest enrollment in the faculty would always be getting the [most] funding,” Palmer said.
Moreover, the difference between the two ways of dividing the funding would amount to tens of dollars, not hundreds or thousands, based on the small enrollment levels in the faculty of fine arts.
The constitution was ratified with ease, which allowed the meeting to move on to more pressing matters, like the referendum petition and their finances.
Palmer informed the membership that they had collected 164 signatures over four days. He hopes that the organization can collect the roughly 500 more signatures needed to secure the five per cent of the student body needed to push a referendum before the end of the semester.
“My goal was trying to get all of the signatures … [so it could] coincide with the URSU general elections, so then that way all students could vote at the same time with the URSU representatives,” Palmer said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. But the sooner we can get the signatures, the sooner we can get this voted on this semester.”
Following the rather brief discussion about the referendum was an attempt at finances. Palmer informed the membership that FASA currently had $2,057.63 in its bank account. When pressed about the actual expenses and income of the organization, Palmer said he did not have those numbers ready for the general assembly.