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Your DSU levy shopping list

(Illustration by Emily Davidson)
(Illustration by Emily Davidson)

When students vote for the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) executive this year, they will also be asked 10 referendum questions. The Gazette has looked into what the questions are and why each organization is asking them.


Per semester: increase levy by $1

The levy increase means full-time students would pay $10 per annum instead of the current $9, and part-time students would pay $3 instead of $2. CKDU hasn’t increased their levy since 1985, but provides equipment for 300 volunteers and wants to keep up with general operational costs. CKDU unsuccessfully ran a levy question last year.


Dalhousie Bike Centre

Per semester: 50 cents per full-time student

The levy would help expand the centre’s bicycle loan program, which currently only has 12 bikes. The money would also go toward replacing tools.


Dalhousie Campus Medical Response Team

$2 per full-time student

The medical response team doesn’t exist yet, but if they receive the levy, it will provide them with enough funds to train students in advanced first aid. The team would go to campus events and immediately respond to medical situations.


Dalhousie Gazette

Per semester: 60 cents per student

The Gazette‘s levy hasn’t increased in 10 years. The levy increase would up the current student fee from $5 to $6.20. The paper wants to return to printing at least 25 issues (the number was recently cut to 23), improve its faulty website and produce weekly video content. The Gazette ran a similar question last year but failed.


Dalhousie International Students’ Association (DISA)

Increase levy by $10 for international students

DISA wants to increase the levy for international students from $5 to $15. The funds would go toward further accommodations for international students, such as cheaper airport pickup rates, housing accommodations and providing more cultural grants. Non-international students would not pay this fee.


Dalhousie Urban Garden Society (DUGS)

Per semester: 50 cents per full-time student

DUGS wants further funding in order to maintain their community garden, as well as provide workshops on community gardening.


Equity and Accessibility (E&A)

Per semester: $1 per full-time student, 50 cents per part-time student

The money would go toward coordinating diversity and anti-oppression workshops for DSU executives, councillors and staff, and working with the DSU policy researcher to address equity and accessibility issues, among other topics.


Renovations (Student Union Building)

Increase levy by $25 per full-time member, $20 per part-time member

The DSU has entered a contract with Lydon Lynch Architects for a pre-design phase of the Student Union Building (SUB) renovations. To renovate and expand the SUB, it will cost $13 million; that, however, doesn’t include the cost of an atrium. This levy would cover that additional cost of an estimated $8 million. This levy increase would only be in effect until the final renovation project costs have been reconciled.


South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre 

Increase levy by $2.85 per full-time student, $1 per part-time student

South House’s increases would take their levy from $3.15 to $6 for full-time students, and from $2 to $3 for part-time students. As students’ needs for resources have risen, South House would use the money to increase their two part-time staff’s  hours. This will let the society expand their volunteer program, provide more free resources (condoms, pregnancy tests), expand their library and offer more than their current 20 bursaries.


Students Nova Scotia (SNS)

$3 per full-time student, $2 per part-time student (unchanged)

The DSU created a Students NS levy years ago because a referendum passed to use current operating revenues for SNS membership, which was effectively terminated on Feb. 26. Because the levy was created by a referendum, it must be voted out by one, as well. If the referendum passes, the money, along with the $44,000 left over from federal advocacy group CASA (totalling $137,000), will go toward currently undetermined DSU efforts. If the levy doesn’t pass, it will be assumed that students want to rejoin SNS and the DSU will vote on rejoining the provincial organization. If the DSU votes to rejoin SNS, students will still be charged for the SNS levy, which will go toward its membership; if not, the money will not be collected.

Sabina Wex
Sabina Wex
Sabina is the Gazette's Managing Editor. Email Sabina at

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