By Tyler Harper
Part-time Ryerson students will get the financial shaft if fees increase to support the construction of a new athletics centre.
That’s the main concern of Gail Alivio, president of the Continuing Education Students Assocation at Ryerson (CESAR). She says the upcoming referendum asking part-time students to pay for facilities they won’t use is a raw deal.
“I don’t think it’s fair to have people vote on it and then the people going to school four years later are the ones having to pay doubled fees when they have absolutely no say on it,” said Alivio.
The referendum calls for an increase of $126 for full-time students, pro-rated for part-time students. All students, who won’t pay until the centre is finished construction in four years, will have full access to the facilities.
But Alivio doesn’t believe the 16,000 part-time students CESAR represents use the RAC or would benefit from a new centre. Of the 7,800 RAC members, only 200 are continuing education students.
“With the new fee automatically you’d get a membership, but even still a lot of people felt that wasn’t enough reason to double the fees,” she said.
Rebecca Rose, the RSU’s vice-president education, thinks it’s not fair to ask families to pay more in a recession.
“I think this athletic-centre-or-bust attitude is ridiculous. [Students] are facing tuition increases,” Rose said.
“Students shouldn’t have to pay for triple the fee in order to help the university’s reputation.”
CESAR is also critical of the “Yes” side’s campaign, which has until now been generally low profile. Alivio is worried a small voter turnout consisting of a majority of student-athletes will not offer a fair representation of opinion.
“It’s not really publicized right now. People don’t know about it.”
Alivio said CESAR will be campaigning against the referendum, but won’t be part of a bigger opposition in conjunction with other Ryerson organizations.