All Posts Tagged With: "Student Fees"
Student union, CFS want administrators to butt out
More than 70 per cent of University of Guelph undergraduates who responded to an unusual survey last week from their administration said they were opposed to paying student fees to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). That’s not surprising considering 73 per cent of voters were opposed when asked in a 2010 referendum.
Still, don’t expect the CFS, a student lobbying organization, to accept either poll anytime soon. Despite what appeared to be a strong mandate to stop funding the CFS in the 2010 referendum, the group has never accepted the result, arguing that there was something fishy about the vote.
And the CFS has support. Guelph’s Central Student Association (CSA)—the very student union that ran the referendum and vigorously defended it to the tune of $407,000 in legal bills as of August 2012—has switched sides and says it would rather stick with the CFS than fight on. That could mean paying roughly $250,000 per year retroactively plus $250,000 annually going forward.
Ottawa student lost bid to have student fee returned
I don’t like my student union’s Education is a Right campaign and I don’t go to social events on campus like the Winter Challenge. I don’t need the transit pass and don’t generally associate myself with the politics of my student union at the University of Ottawa, where I study part-time. So why should I have to pay to be a member?
Edward Inch didn’t think he should have to pay and so he tried suing the Student Federation at the University of Ottawa (SFUO) in small claims court for the $92.60 they charged him one semester after he opted out of the union in 2012.
In a court decision yesterday, deputy judge Lyon Gilbert decided Inch must pay up anyway. “As a student, Mr. Inch is bound to the terms and conditions of enrollment,” Gilbert said, according to The Fulcrum student newspaper.
The real problem is rising tuition, say student leaders
This is a response to Liam Ledgerwood’s argument against student union fees, which appeared in The Arthur at Trent University. What do you think about student fees? Tell us in the comments section, on Twitter @maconcampus, or on Facebook.
We are sorry to hear that levy fees are troubling you and that you feel ripped off. Further, it is extremely troubling to hear of such an abuse of student monies at York—that is wrong. However, your piece misses some of the most amazing work these levies accomplish. Here is a quick, incomplete list of what they support:
—two food banks, feeding both hungry students and those less fortunate in the Peterborough community
—a free market to exchange goods
—a pan-campus and Peterborough-wide anti-rape campaign
—a transit system used by some 6,000 people daily
—a health benefits plan, which students can remove themselves from, used by 3,000 students
—employment for more than 100 students offering invaluable job experience (for example: Arthur staff writer)
—political and charitable goals including raising money for Haiti after their last earthquake, talking about mental health on campus, and helping those who cannot afford the full cost of childcare.
If we wanted these groups, we’d fund them voluntarily.
Liam Ledgerwood’s piece for The Arthur at Trent University generated more than a couple letters to the editor. After reading his argument below, check out one of those responses, written by two student politicians who support the fees. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section, on Twitter @maconcampus or on Facebook.
When I was an eager and green first year at Trent University, I remember my father telling me a story about one of his university friends back in the 80s. Like Trent, York University offered any student group “free” money to help finance its activities. Well, my father’s friend started a group, received a few hundred dollars, went and bought “prizes” (read: stuff he wanted) and held a “fundraiser” auction that went unadvertised. When no one showed up, guess who kept the prizes?
I laughed at the time, but I recently read the list of levies that each student at Trent pays to support various organizations, clubs, charities and special interest groups on campus. Every single one of us pays more than $180 per year to support more than 30 groups that most of us have a) no participation in b) receive no benefit from or c) have never even heard of.
Each year, $18.79 is charged to us to pay for Trent Radio (does anyone know the frequency?), $18.87 for Trent Annual (despite my never even seeing a Trent Yearbook through three years here), $12.50 for the politically ideological Ontario Public Interest Research Group, and the list goes on. Sure, some of these levies are “refundable,” but the total of all available refunds is only $51, and we have to go to groups individually to get our own money back. There’s no “opt out” button.
Latest school to turn down agreement that would raise student fees
Carleton University is the latest Canadian school to turn down a controversial intellectual property agreement with Access Copyright, announcing its decision Thursday, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The agreement would have cost full-time students an extra $26 per year.
Negotiated on behalf of Canadian universities by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the license agreement is meant to ensure copyright holders are equitably paid for the use of their educational material. It was also billed as a way to shield institutions from lawsuits. But critics claim the legal risk is low, and that the agreement would do nothing more than raise fees for university students.
The agreement has also been rejected by the University of British Columbia, Memorial University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Winnipeg, and others.
Student doesn’t want his money funding political causes
A University of Ottawa student is suing his students’ union over the mandatory $92.60 fee it collects from all undergraduates. Edward Inch, 22, is taking the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa to small claims court to ask for his winter semester fees returned plus $210 in legal costs. His reasons are the political activities SFUO takes part in, like supporting Quebec protesters and striking postal workers. “They claim to represent all students, yet they take political positions I don’t agree with,” the 22-year-old chemistry major told the Ottawa Citizen. “If I wanted to save the whales and save the postal workers, I’d do that in my spare time,” he added. SFUO rejects his claims.
But when campus pubs lose money, shut ‘em down
A few students at the University of Windsor are fighting to save their troubled campus pub.
Many more students are likely asking: but why?
The Thirsty Scholar, inside the CAW Centre on campus, will reopen in the fall as a small licensed cafe and bookshop, after the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance (which owns the space), turned it over to the campus bookstore in a 10-year lease deal, reports The Windsor Star.
Protesters want radio station and QPIRG fees reinstated
It’s day three of an occupation of the sixth floor of the James Administration building at McGill.
It appears protesters didn’t plan for it to last so long. On Wednesday night, occupiers sent down a bucket on a rope to try and haul up food from supporters below. Security guards cut the rope.
Doug Sweet, Director of Media Relations for McGill, told the Montreal Gazette that, “hauling stuff up by rope to the sixth floor is potentially dangerous,” and could potentially “break windows.”
Students took over the building on Tuesday when about 60 showed up to protest the administration’s decision to not honour a referendum over the continuation of funding for two campus groups. Most protesters were in the lobby of the building and have since left.
The Quebec Public Interest Research Group, a social justice organization, and CKUT, a campus radio station, were funded mainly by student fees. Two-thirds of voters appeared to support continued student funding of QPIRG in the Fall 2011 vote, but the university’s deputy provost for student life and learning, Morton Mendelson, invalidated the question due to confusing wording.
In addition to reinstating student funding to both groups, protesters want Mendelson to be fired or to resign. They’re calling their protest Mendelson’s “surprise resignation party.” Twitter is abuzz about the “party” with the hashtag #6party. A blog claims to offer “communiques from the sixth floor.”
McGill Daily published a letter today from QPIRG that thanks protesters and demands that their funding continue. However, they will not run a question about funding in the upcoming referendum.
CKUT, on the other hand, will not only seek affirmation of funding, but will ask students to make their fee mandatory. If passed, students who don’t support the station will not be able to opt-out.
Public Interest Research Groups have been controversial lately. Conservative students don’t want their student fees funding causes of the left, such as Israel Apartheid Week and anti-capitalism initiatives. Queen’s University students recently voted to stop collecting fees for a PIRG.
Students currently need to meet with the VP Finance to see details
The University of Prince Edward Island Student Union says it will continue to keep the details of its budgets “for members only.” In other words, these pie charts with no figures attached are all that will remain posted on their website—the place where the public would normally expect to find details.
This comes after students demanded at a meeting last week that the union make their plans for spending easier to find, reports The Cadre.
That meeting resulted from a Facebook post that made the rounds. It said: “$700 of your dollars will go to the UPEISU over four years. Do you think that the SU budget should be accessible to the students and be able to see how they’re spending your money? Post this if you are concerned…”
$10.35 fee added
Students at Ryerson University in Toronto have approved the addition of a $10.35 per year fee to support a new campus radio station, after CKLN was shut down by the CRTC earlier this year. A referendum was held on campus earlier this week. Although some students organized in opposition to the new fee, the vote wasn’t even close, with the “yes” side winning 2,773 votes, 448 opposed and 18 spoiled ballots, reports the Ryerson Students’ Union. Quorum rules require that 10 per cent of full-time undergraduate and graduate students vote. Ryerson has 20,006 full-time students.