By Madi Wong
Ryerson has released final opt-in and opt-out numbers for the 2019-20 school year, with the lowest opt-in percentage for a student group or union at 43 per cent, and the highest being 79 per cent.
In January, Premier Doug Ford’s provincial government introduced the Student Choice Initiative (SCI), allowing post-secondary students the option to opt out of certain ancillary fees that were previously mandatory as part of their tuition.
Services that were deemed essential included athletics and recreation, academic support and health and dental plans, whereas non-essential services included campus groups and unions such as the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), The Eyeopener and CJRU 1280AM, Ryerson radio (CJRU).
While the policy has only been in place for a couple of months, student life at Ryerson has already been affected by the SCI.
The Oakham House Choir was told to disband by the end of the school year due to the lack of funding it received following the SCI’s implementation, and half of campus radio stations are at risk of closing down, according to a New Democratic Party media release.
The CFS and York Federation of Students (YFS) filed a legal challenge against the Ontario government’s SCI. In October, lawyers for the CFS and YFS told an Ontario Divisional Court that the SCI is an attack on universities’ independence.
On Oct. 7 Ryerson finalized the opt-in versus opt-out numbers of each non-essential service. The services were divided up into three categories: full-time students, full-time students’ program based societies and continuing education and part-time students.
“I’m extremely pleased that the fall 2019 opt-in rates demonstrate support for student life activities and reflect how much we value student engagement here,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi.
Here is a breakdown of the opt-in rates.
Ryerson Students’ Union
The RSU received an opt-in percentage of 60.4 per cent from full-time students. The ancillary fee cost to opt-in is $24.44 annually.
The union represents students across campuses by representing students, supporting other campus groups, planning student life events and providing essential services, such as equity service centres.
CJRU 1280AM, Ryerson radio
The CJRU received an opt-in percentage of 43.3 per cent from full-time students. The ancillary fee cost to opt-in is up to $3.73 annually.
The radio station provides Ryerson’s community with a variety of broadcast programs that inform the public on the latest news, music reviews or events on campus while providing opportunities for community members to get involved.
Canadian Federation of Students
CFS received an opt-in percentage of 50.2 per cent from full-time students, 57.0 per cent from continuing education students and 63.8 per cent from part-time students. The ancillary fee cost to opt-in is up to $17.33 annually.
The CFS is a Canada-wide student organization that represents students across the country. Ryerson’s chapter of CFS lobbies all levels of government on tuition fees, financial aid and student representation.
The Eyeopener received a 44.4 per cent opt-in percentage from full-time students. The ancillary fee cost to opt-in is up to $5.65 annually.
As an independent student newspaper at Ryerson, The Eye investigates and reports on campus issues. It also holds university stakeholders accountable.
World University Services Canada Ryerson (WUSC) Student Refugee program
The WUSC Student Refugee program received 48.8 per cent opt-ins from full-time students and 59.4 per cent of opt-ins from part-time students. The ancillary fee cost to opt-in is up to $4.69 annually.
WUSC strives to raise awareness of global issues and international development. The program sponsors and supports refugees to study in Canada as permanent residents.
Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR)
CESAR received 78.1 per cent of opt-ins from part-time students and 59.1 per cent of opt-ins for continuing education students. The cost to opt-in was $7.65 per course.
Similar to the RSU, CESAR represents students in Ryerson’s Chang School—those in continuing education, distance education and any part-time degrees.
Program-based societies at Ryerson represent students in faculties across campuses. They serve as a voice for students in undergraduate programs, collaborate with other organizations to provide networking opportunities and more.
The opt-in numbers for program-based societies at Ryerson are as follows:
- Ryerson Liberal Arts Society—62.8 per cent. It cost students $16.64 annually to opt-in.
- Ted Rogers Students’ Society—69.3 per cent. It cost students $9.75 annually to opt-in
- Ryerson Communication & Design Society—74.2 per cent. It cost students $10.49 annually to opt-in.
- Ryerson Engineering Society—69.3 per cent. It cost students $26.68 annually to opt-in
- Ryerson Architect Society—79.0 per cent. It cost students $40.16 annually to opt-in.
- Ryerson Science Society—64.3 per cent. It cost students $29.14 annually to opt-in