By Brennan Doherty
Add an extra five bucks to the headache of losing your OneCard from now on.
Last May the replacement cost of the Ryerson student and faculty ID card rose from $30 to $35 – making the OneCard the most expensive university student card in Toronto.
Students at York University and OCADU pay $20 while University of Toronto students only have to pay $12 for their replacement cards.
“We know that it doesn’t cost $35 to replace that card,” said Jesse Root, vice-president of education for the Ryerson Student Union. “I think part of it is to act as a deterrent, but it is a way, in our view, to download the costs onto [students] rather than prioritizing accessibility.”
— plaidstiel (@israkayy) September 8, 2014
The price increase was part of a routine fee schedule undertaken by Ryerson’s board of governors back in 2011-2012. Part of the board’s job is to assess the previous year’s budget and adjusting the cost of fees for anything from transcript submissions to graduation gowns, to OneCard replacement costs. The 2011 budget noted that the OneCard replacement cost hadn’t been raised in at least ten years.
“It’s just to cover the increase of administrative costs,” said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy. “With regards to why [the One Card] is more expensive than others — the Ryerson OneCard has many features the others don’t have, such as a debit system for meal plans, printing, and more.”
But the functions of the OneCard are identical to cards used across the city. York University’s website describes its YU-Card as “an accepted photo ID and payment method at hundreds of locations across campus.”
It can pay for access to printing, photocopying, vending machines and on-campus retailers, in addition to being official ID for York students.
The University of Toronto’s TCard and OCAD University’s student card also have similar functions, according to their respective websites.
Revenues gained from the OneCard’s replacement fees “help support the day to day operations of the OneCard Office which include staffing, application software licenses, card stock and printing materials, equipment maintenance, [and] general office supply costs,” said an email from Darcy Flynn, manager of the OneCard office.
Students were not happy about the increase in replacement cost.
“It seems ridiculous to me. OneCards are lost and stolen all the time, beyond the control of the student. There should be a low priced warning replacement,” said @SallyJuspeczyk on Twitter.
— ❀lorelei❀ (@SallyJuspeczyk) September 8, 2014
Others simply weren’t aware of the change.
“I didn’t know that,” said Ruth Ealente, a first-year English student. The price increase was nowhere to be found on the OneCard office’s Twitter account, @ RUOneCard, for last May.
Their website gives a notice of the change at the bottom of the announcements section.