By Prapti Bamaniya and Edward Djan
A referendum has passed to increase the student wellbeing fee at Toronto Metropolitan University.
Students voted in favour of an increase of up to $34.90 to the health and wellbeing fee, according to the university.
In an email to students, 2,218 votes were casted to increase the fee while 1,647 votes were against the increase. Another 43 people chose to abstain from voting.
The school said in its email that out of 46,005 eligible voters, only 3,908 ballots were submitted. With a participation rate of 8.5 per cent, the email read that a “sufficient number of students…are agreeable” to the increase in fees.
The move comes after the school held a referendum from Nov. 1-3.
The increased fee will help build a new student wellbeing centre near O’Keefe House on Gould Street, a project that is still pending approval of the Board of Governors (BoG). The centre is slated to open in fall 2025 if approved, according to the September BoG meeting.
Funds from the fee will also be put toward additional health and wellbeing staff, programming and support for students with reduced service wait times and to try to improve physical and mental health outcomes, according to the September BoG meeting.
The increased health and wellbeing fee will take effect in September 2023 and will be adjusted for part-time students, according to the school.
Students have till Nov. 17, 2022 to challenge the results of the referendum, according to the school’s email.