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By Alexandra Macaulay Abdelwahab

Last week, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) protested rising tuition fees, while the Ryerson Commerce Society (RCS) worked to increase its levy for business students.

On Oct. 22, the Canadian Federation of Students brought 50,000 signatures demanding the government lower tuition fees to Queen’s Park. Nine thousand of these were from Ryerson students.

MPP Rosario Marchese, NDP critic for training, colleges and universities, accepted the petitions and delivered them to the legislature before the release of Ontario’s fall economic statement.

That same day, members of the commerce society lobbied classes, asking business students if they were interested in holding a referendum to raise the fee students pay to the RCS.

Toby Whitfield, the RSU’s VP finance and services, said sky-rocketing fees are a huge concern for students, especially because Ontario has the second highest tuition fees in Canada.

“We support the Drop Fees campaign,” said Justin Hein, RCS VP of corporate relations. But the RCS wants to raise the $23 levy business students pay to provide more services to the Ted Rogers School of Management.

The amount of the increase has not been finalized, said Hein. However, he expects students will be consulted in deciding how much more to charge.

“The majority of this fee goes to funding for student groups and conferences,” said Jordan Becker, VP internal relations for RCS.

He said as student groups get bigger and Ryerson begins attending more business conferences, these costs increase.

The referendum to increase the RCS student levy must be held before Nov. 15 in order for the fee increase to take effect next September.

In the meantime, the RSU is continuing to protest tuition hikes and is planning the Nov. 5 day of action to demonstrate against increasing fees.

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