February 16, 2022

SASC Fee Referendum FAQ

The SASC needs your help to approve an additional $6.42 that would be added to the existing SASC student fee.

Demand for SASC services has grown exponentially, particularly in the past four years and even more so during the pandemic, stretching our current ability to meet the demand. This additional amount will help us ensure survivors of sexualized violence have the support they need when they most need it. Here are our numbers:

Survivors need your support. Vote YES to the SASC Fee Referendum in March.


Why is the SASC asking for a $6.42 increase?

In order to maintain the services we currently offer we need to make some changes to adapt and respond to the increase in demand for services.

To do this we need:

More staff to provide support services

  • From 4 part-time support workers to 3 full-time and 2 part-time support workers to:
    • Maintain service delivery and accessibility of services by having more staff available for drop-ins and crisis calls
    • Ensure consistency and continuity of care for students
  • Adding more support services:
    • Re-expanding our hours to 8am-10pm (we reduced them to 9am-9pm due to staffing issues)
    • Supplementary Counselling Fund (especially for student who may not have access to AMS Mental Health Benefits)
    • Emergency funds linked to transportation and housing for students in need of safety due to violence
    • Connecting students to low-cost and free counselling via partnerships
    • Work with different professionals to expand Support Group offerings

More staff to do prevention education

  • A full-time educator in addition to the 3 part-time educators, and a part-time social media coordinator so we can provide:
    • More education and prevention on campus
    • Improved curriculum, curriculum development, and new workshop topics
    • More events and outreach

General Increased Capacity

  • Managers are part of working on policies and advocating for students on a policy level
  • Fund student initiatives and projects about sexualized violence
  • The SASC is a harm reduction site providing safer sex supplies and naloxone distribution
  • Reduce staff turnover by keeping up with social service industry standards

Growth in Education and Outreach

  • We have seen enormous growth in our educational outreach in recent years, something we feel is critical to reducing incidents of sexualized violence and misconduct.
  • Supporting students will always be core to our service, but through pro-active education, we can prevent incidents before they take place.
    • Since return-to-campus (Sept 2021-Jan 2022), SASC has reached 4,203 people through workshops, events, booths, campaigns, and social media 
    • We have a team of 25 volunteers supporting this work

Accessibility

  • Our doors are open to everyone connected to this issue, including support for people who are supporting others.

What happens if the referendum doesn’t pass?

  • We can’t say with certainty what will happen, but the most likely scenario will be cuts to services.
  • Should the referendum not pass we’ll first consult with our community to determine what services will be reduced. At this point we can only say there would be an impact.

Why can’t the AMS use their surplus to fund SASC instead of increasing fees?

  • AMS is currently in a deficit due to the pandemic.
  • Budget surpluses are unreliable source of funding because of the many external factors that can cause our budget to go from a surplus position one year to a deficit position the next.
    • External factors include such things as student enrollment, performance of investments, and interest rates.
  • While the AMS by-laws prohibit us from running deficit budgets, external factors are beyond our control and therefore impossible to predict. 
  • AMS by-laws also mandate that any surpluses at the end of the fiscal year must go to pay down accumulated deficits from previous years.

Why can’t UBC fund the SASC?

  • Independence from the university is one of the SASC’s greatest attributes. Our independence means that we are never in a conflict of interest should an incident involve UBC faculty or staff. Students receive support that is unbiased and completely on their side.
  • SVPRO is university-funded and does excellent work, and students should have to right to choose the service that they feel most comfortable with. More options for support are always better than fewer options for support.

Haven’t the number of survivors visiting the SASC decreased with the creation of SVPRO?

  • You can find all of our stats here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ0Ypmqlcno/
  • If you scroll up, you can view our numbers for the last 4 years. As you can see, our support service stats have almost tripled since 2018 and since the creation of SVPRO. Together with SVPRO, the SASC has been able to support more students than ever before. This speaks to the unfortunate reality that sexualized violence continues to be prevalent on campuses which increases the need for support services.
  • It’s all about choice. Our independence from UBC on top of our extended office, drop-in, and on-call hours, give students more options if/when they need our services. We are finding that more students are coming to see us on evenings and weekends.

I’ll never use the SASC, why should I have to pay for it?

  • We hope you never experience sexualized violence. Sexualized violence can happen to anyone at any time, to people of all gender and identities. The fee that you pay is one way you can support students who do need this service.
  • SASC supports friends, family, staff, faculty, etc. in supporting students who have experienced sexualized violence. You might find yourself coming to SASC in support of someone you know.
  • You may never visit the SASC, but you will be impacted by our work. We are creating a better UBC through our education and outreach efforts, reducing incidents of sexualized violence and creating a climate of consent and accountability across campus.

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