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By Suzanne Ma

Fourth-year Journalism students got an unexpected surprise this winter: the university appears to owe some of them money.

Jessica Whitby was stunned after she logged onto RAMSS over the break and saw that her fees statement balance was -$422.88.

Whitby, a fourth-year journalism student, went to the cashier’s office once classes started to sort it all out. “I thought it was some kind of a mistake,” she said. “I went up to (the counter)… and they said, ‘Actually, we owe you money.'”

She isn’t alone. Other journalism students have also noticed negative numbers. Some, like Whitby, have already visited the cashier’s office and filled out rebate forms. But Registrar Keith Alnwick is asking students to sit tight for the moment.

“We’re investigating the situation and it could well be that any refund credit is really not one that somebody is eligible for.” Changes in the School of Journalism’s curriculum might be causing problems, he said.

The negative fee statements seem to be affecting primarily broadcast journalism students in their fourth year. But students outside the broadcast stream and in other years with similar situations have spoken to the Eyeopener.

Journalism Chair Paul Knox was not aware that students were claiming refund cheques, but said problems may have arisen from the way fees are now calculated by the university. “My advice for students would be to hold on for a little bit,” said Alnwick. “Give us to the end of this week.”

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