SFSS discusses the health and dental care referendum vote

The referendum voting period was November 1–3

This photo is of the SFU stadium at the Burnaby Campus. The stadium is empty but it is a sunny day.
PHOTO: Krystal Chan / The Peak

Editor’s Note: The article was updated on November 17, to state Baran attended the Alliance of BC Students instead of the BC Federation of Students Lobby Days. Additionally, it was updated to note the referendum required a majority vote, not two-thirds, but failed because they failed to reach quorum.

By: Pranjali J Mann, News Writer

Student health and dental fee referendum information

Vice-president internal and organizational development, Judit Nagy, proposed adding the increase of the fall health and dental plan fees to the referenda. 

Nagy’s motion proposed keeping “pace with the rising cost of health and dental services.” This motion was brought up to open avenues for increased mental health services. SFSS president Helen Sofia Pahou noted the original 2008 motion for the first SFSS health and dental provision did not account for inflation.

In this meeting, more communication about the clear benefits and harms of the referendum were asked to be posted on the SFSS website. 

At the end of the referendum’s voting period on November 3, it was decided the $31.20 increase to the fee will not be applied. This referendum required a majority vote to pass, but the vote did not pass because they failed to reach quorum. But now, the cost remains the same — $254.36 for advanced plan and $197.51 for the basic plan SFU students on a yearly basis. Students can opt-out in case of an equivalent insurance plan in the province, during the “Change-of-Coverage Period.” 

Student Lobby Days Presentation

This was presented by SFSS vice-president external and community affairs, Eshana Baran, who attended the Alliance of BC Students annual meeting in Victoria. The yearly conference works towards accessible and affordable education. 

According to the BC Federation of Students’ website, this meeting was hosted by the British Columbia Institute of Technology Student Association and the Student Union Society of the University of Fraser Valley. The two-day federation meeting had 45 MLA’s and 17 post-secondary student union bodies in attendance, representing about 210,000 students in the province. 

Representing the SFSS at the meeting, Baran attended the lobby training for international students. At the conference, she voiced demands for international students. Additionally, she noted other areas of concern around “financial aid, international student’s rights, support for students with disabilities, and sexualized student survivor support.” 

Baran noted her meeting had various representatives from the BC Liberals, BC Greens, and BC NDP. Through a chance to connect with other student vice-president externals from across the province, she expressed gratitude for being able to connect with powerful student advocates. 

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