Ultra Vires


SLS Membership Fee Increase Referendum Passes

Membership fee now $30 a semester

On February 28, the Students’ Law Society (SLS) announced in SLS Weekly that it had directed the Chief Returning Officer to include a SLS membership fee increase referendum question on the ballot in the Spring General Elections. SLS sought to increase the SLS membership fee from $20 to $30 a semester for full-time students, and from $10 to $15 a semester for part-time students.

The membership fee funds club events and subsidizes larger social events such as Law Ball and Halloween. The SLS sought a fee increase because the cost of food and hosting events has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic; having more financial resources would also allow the Social and Finance Committee (SFC) to put down deposits for venues. 

“With increased budget flexibility, SFC will be able to pursue and fund a greater diversity of events,” commented VP Finance Marco Ciccone (1L). “Our aim was to enable next year’s SFC to have more funds at its disposal to increase the offerings and have a better ability to cater to different student interests through SLS events and club funding.”

The SLS collects three fees from students: a membership fee, an orientation fee ($25/semester), and a public interest employment program fee ($15/semester). The orientation fee supports O-Week programming for incoming first-year students. The public interest employment program fee funds up to three summer fellowships, for a minimum amount of $8000 each. The last fee increase was in 1995.

Per SLS By-law 8 and Article XI of the SLS Constitution, any amendments to the fees must be put to the student body via a referendum. A referendum passes if at least 100 students vote and a majority of them approve of the change. 185 students voted in the referendum: 123 students voted yes, 53 students voted no, and 9 students abstained.

“I am very pleased that the referendum has passed,” added Ciccone. “I think the result highlights that students are excited to [have more] in-person socialization […] and empathize with the need to rectify the financial difficulties we face as a student organization.”

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