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Admin proposes up to $250 a year in new fees for students

King’s students may be feeling some extra pinch after the school’s board of governors votes on new fees in June. The board is looking at adding a $50 graduation fee for graduating students, as well as $200 in recurring fees for technology and facilities, effective September 2013.

King’s students may be feeling some extra pinch after the school’s board of governors votes on new fees in June.

According to Karis Tees, one of the board of governors student representatives, the board is looking at adding a $50 graduation fee for graduating students, as well as $200 in recurring fees for technology and facilities, effective September 2013. They’ll vote on June 20.

The cost of graduation was previously covered by the university, and would help to cover the cost of the Encaenia. Bursar Jim Fitzpatrick was slow to answer in KSU (King’s Students’ Union) council yesterday when KSU president Anna Dubinski asked him how this fee increase applied to new costs.

“Well, it’s obviously not (to cover new costs),” he said, after a ten-second pause. Dubinski says new fees to alleviate pre-existing costs go against a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between Nova Scotia Universities and the province (PDF).

The technology fee would start to cover the installation of wireless internet over the summer. The Board voted in late March to install wireless—“pending funding,” Tees said.

The $100 facilities fees would be used to fix what the board is calling the “generally down-at-heel look of the campus,” according to Tees.

“So the issue is, we’re somewhat inclined to say, as everyone’s been inclined to say, ‘I want the facilities to be better,’” she said.

“Obviously we want these things fixed. No one’s arguing against that, no one’s arguing that we need wireless. The issue is just that it sets a precedent in terms of charging students to increase the revenues.”

According to the fee estimates on the King’s and Dalhousie websites, full-time King’s arts students pay around $275 more in fees than full-time Dal arts students. If the board passes this motion, the difference will increase to $525 for graduating students.

“The minute we’re spending $100 every single year, with no plan in sight, that’s when it becomes a problem. That’s when we have to do something about it,” Jesse Laufer said at the Action! King’s meeting April 4.

“Although the problem is what can we do about this now, right? Because June 20 it’s voted. We have two weeks left of school. Everybody’s in exams, some students are going to be out of here by Friday … What can we do to sway the Board of Governor’s minds at the end of June?”

An email sent to the bursar over the weekend to confirm this possible increase remains unanswered.

President George Cooper is set to consult with students on these fees April 16.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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