by Anna Bratulic
After a period of inactivity, the Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) is
up and running again. The students who are involved are determined that
it become a significant voice for its 2,200 members.
FASA was put in place to have Fine Arts students taking care of
students within the faculty without having to mess with the outside,
said Declan ODriscoll, president of FASA. If they have any
concerns, we want them to come to us, and well help them as best
One of the aims is to get Fine Arts departments communicating and aware
of one another. With the election of 13 council representatives from most
of the departments and four members of the executive, the students are
achieving this, ODriscoll said.
Last year there were four or five people involved. This year, there
are close to 20 people who regularly attend monthly council meetings,
he said. Some people are experienced, some people arent, but
it is becoming more structured.
More funding this year
Extra funds always help in the structuring process, and this year theres
more money coming FASAs way. They decided to collect student fees
directly from the students rather than have it filtered through the Concordia
They [the CSU] have helped us, I have to say, but theres been
too much commotion to depend on that, ODriscoll said. We
want to be completely self-sufficient. We can fund our own clubs, and
our own special projects.
Big and small projects are in the works, including the creation of a scholarship
and bursary database, academic exchanges and internships, professional
development workshops and an online form of campus recruiting targeting
Fine Arts students. An emergency fund for struggling students is also
One of the high-profile projects FASA helps to organize is Art Matters,
the March arts festival showcasing student work, now in its second year.
It was during initial talks for Art Matters back in the fall of 2000 that
the idea to resurrect FASA came about. More than 115 proposals have been
submitted for this years festival, and workshops were given on how
to put together a professional-looking proposal.
The development of sharp promotion skills such as creating eye-catching
proposals or arranging exhibition opportunities is an important
component of a fine arts education these days. Laurel Smith, Student Life
Assistant for the council, said that FASA is well placed to address that
Once you graduate and become an artist, out there in the real world,
it takes quite an effort to become recognized as part of a fine arts community,
Smith said. You almost unwittingly overlook that as a student. Fine
Arts students also need research skills as well as professional development
She added that the students would like to see more involvement in their
activities by the Faculty of Fine Arts many accomplished alumni.
Monthly council meetings of FASA are open to everyone. They take place
on the first Sunday of every month at 6 p.m. in VA-245. FASAs general
assembly will be held at the end of February.
The Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,