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By Marlee Kostiner

Note: A different story was accidentally published online under this headline. This is the correct version.

Ryerson’s full-time business students will vote on a $40 fee increase to the Ryerson Commerce Society (RCS) in early March.

The referendum, which was passed by the school’s Board of Governors on Jan. 23, will be held via RAMSS from March 2 to 5. Students currently pay the RCS $20 every year in their tuition. Cristina Jakimtschuk, president of the RCS said they were thinking about a vote for years before taking action.

“We started really talking about it last year, but there was so much going on, like the opening of the Ted Rogers School of Management, that we kind of put it on the backburner,” she said. The discussions got serious this past June and were finally put on paper in September when petitions were passed around to business students to see what their response would be to the idea of a referendum.

“It doesn’t seem fair. When you’re a student you have so many payments already,” said Natalie Calderon, a fourthyear business student.

Since the RCS missed the approval deadline of Nov. 15, if the referendum passes, it will only go into effect in September 2010. Jakimtschuk says that this doesn’t bother her. “We’re thinking long term,” she said.

Muhammad Ali Jabbar, president of the Ryerson Students’ Union, said he is concerned about where the money is going.

The RCS’s biggest priority is funding student groups. This year, the budget was set at $45,000 and has been stagnant for years. If the referendum passes, the budget will go up to $170,000. The business school has 22 student groups and is continually growing.

First-year information technology management student Asma Rahman is worried that not enough people use student groups to justify an increase. “Only one quarter of the students in business actually join student groups. So if they’re paying for something they aren’t going to use it doesn’t make sense. I’m going to vote no,” she said. Ryerson’s business school is also the only one in the country without a national conference.

“That is something we would like to bring, especially since the passing of Ted Rogers, as something to commemorate his name.” said Jakimtschuk. Ryerson participated in Jeux de Commerce for the first time this year in Edmonton.

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