By Eric Fung
Change is coming to even the most traditional of U of C’s residences.
“We have heard next to nothing from the upper administration about the proposed fees for residence for 2003/2004,” said Residence Students’ Association President Sarah Wilson. “There is little concrete information available, but we have heard through the rumor mill that we are potentially looking at an increase of 12-15 per cent.”
Residence fees for students at the University of Calgary currently range from $1,455 for a double room in traditional residence to $5,055 for a one-bedroom apartment per school year. Students in traditional residence must also purchase a meal plan costing between $1,935 and $3,170 per year.
“Residence fees are used to cover the operating budget of the residence, including staff, building maintenance, and utility fees such as hydro and heating bills,” said Wilson. “Because the university is facing such an astronomical debt over the next few years, we believe that the severe increase that residents will be facing this year will largely go to cover this deficit.”
According to Wilson, last year’s residence fee increase of 8 per cent, due to a loss of government subsidy for heating and hydroelectric costs, was already considered extreme by students.
“We are currently arranging a meeting with the university president to further discuss the details about our increase as part of Ancillary Services department, and our concerns with this increase,” said Wilson.
According to administrators, residence fee increases for next year have not been set but should be decided by late February or early March.
“We have only started the budget process and there are a number of areas that we will not have true costs on for some time,” George Thomson, General Manager of Residence Services. “Until we receive all the information pertaining to costs associated with operating the Residence program, we won’t have a definitive answer as to what residence costs/fees will increase for the 2003/04 fiscal year.”
For more information on residence fees, see www.ucalgary.ca/residence/rates.html