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By Jill Langlois

The Ryerson Engineering Student Society is holding a referendum to see if its students will add an extra $10 to their annual budget.

Online voting ends Nov. 9 for all engineering students. If the referendum is passed, students will be paying $30 towards RESS each year.

“Our $20 ancillary fee hasn’t changed since we formed in 1988,” said Chris Sano, president of RESS. “Inflation wasn’t built in. It was never considered.”

If passed, team funding will receive an extra $5; thesis and design project grants another $3; and conference delegations another $2. The fees would continue to be adjusted according to inflation in the following years.

First-year mechanical engineering student Marcin Folga is not opposed to the increase.

“I don’t think that $10 on top of what we already pay (to go to university) is too much,” he said.

“Lots of students probably wouldn’t even notice.”

Sano said that if the referendum is not passed, RESS would continue to work with the amount of money they currently receive from student fees and it wouldn’t hold any fundraisers meant to bring money into the group.

“The only time we do that is for charity,” he said, referring to Shinerama and the 24 Hour Bug Push.

A problem that RESS has faced is that many students aren’t aware of the services it offers.

“The only thing I know about is bursaries,” said Md Hussain, a first-year mechanical engineering student. “I’ve never really heard of anything else that they do.”

Sano said publicity is something that RESS wants improve, since they’ve heard this type of comment countless times before.

“There are many benefits that RESS has to offer,” he said. “We want to publicize our services more so that students can take advantage of them. A lot of people don’t even know they can come to RESS.”

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