Ryerson waits on opt-out guidelines

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By Sherina Harris

Ryerson University is still waiting for the final ancillary fee opt-out framework from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The ministry held three official briefings attended by “members of Ryerson administration,” according to Ryerson’s public affairs office.

President Mohamed Lachemi said there was no date given for when institutions could expect the final guidelines, adding that Ryerson must submit its budget to its board by the end of April.

“We are already in March. We need the information. It’s not just students who are asking the questions. We are asking questions [to] the government,” he said.

Stephanie Rea, the minister’s communications director, said the guidelines would be shared with institutions “very soon.”

A spokesperson from the University of Toronto confirmed the school has also not received the final fee framework.

A document from a February technical briefing on the Student Choice Initiative outlines a potential framework for ancillary fees was initially published by The Varsity.

It lists essential fees as those involving athletics and recreation, career services, student buildings, health and counselling, academic support, student ID cards, transcriptions and convocation, financial aid offices, walk safe programs and student transit passes. Health and dental plans will also be mandatory services, provided that students are given the option to opt-out.

“We’re in ongoing consultations with the university looking at how to mitigate the impact,” said Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president Maklane deWever.

He said he was meeting with  the president this week to see how the RSU will be impacted.

“We understand how much this change will affect our students and we are waiting to provide information to our students,” Lachemi said.

“People are already planning what to do for next year and it’s very important for us to communicate the information as soon as we get it.”

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