RAC to refund double-paid fees

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By Samantha Sim

Nine years worth of RAC gym memberships are being refunded to early childhood education students in the Ryerson-George Brown joint program.

Students in that program already pay for a RAC membership as part of their tuition costs.

Both the number of students affected, from 2002-2011, and the amount of money to be refunded is still unknown.

Dr. Ivan Joseph, director of athletics, said the refund won’t affect the RAC’s budget, as the money will come from Ryerson administration. He said the RAC was not involved in this separate agreement between administration at George Brown and Ryerson.

Joseph said RAC employees have started sorting through 24,000 forms from the past three years because memberships were not kept in an electronic database.

According to Cindy Brownlee, vice-president of Ryerson services for the George Brown student association, the refund process started after she brought the issue to the attention of George Brown administration, who then notified Ryerson.

“After going through the meeting minutes [from a 2009 meeting] I found out that joint program students were allowed to use the gym free,” she says.

“The refund came from George Brown’s digging.”

Joseph doesn’t deny there was a mix up, but he believes it was just a situation of something being lost in translation.

“I didn’t know about [the arrangement] and my boss didn’t know [about the arrangement],” says Joseph. “[The RAC] looked into it and George Brown was right. Of course we’re going to fix it.”

However, Brownlee isn’t breathing a sigh of relief just yet.

She says that it might take a while for any refund to come to fruition.

“In my past experiences with university and college administrations, I find that refunds don’t come too easily,” she says.

Joseph assures students that the RAC is taking the proper steps to ensure they can, at least, account for the past three years of memberships bought by the joint program students.

Photo by: Eyeopener Staff

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