Residence fees to increase up to 4.6%

There are certain inevitabilities in student life. Fees will rise, there will always be more tests than time and there is always a bake sale in Science Theatres. Unfortunately for residence dwellers, it’s the first of these eventualities as residence fees are increasing.

“We heard from the Residence Students’ Association that it’s going to be three per cent across the board in traditional housing, 4.6 per cent in family housing and two per cent in the Norquay, Brewster and Castle buildings,” said Students’ Union president Charlotte Kingston.

Luke Mason, the President of the RSA, said that rate increases have been highly variable over the last few years, ranging from roughly four to about nine per cent.

“I’m never happy with an increase, I understand that it’s the least amount of evil,” said Mason. “We did advocate that Norquay, Brewster and Castle will only be increasing by two per cent instead of three because they’re a little bit older than some of the other buildings.”

Mason said that every year Residence Services consults students about the budget. The proposed changes typically include a long-term plan covering a few years.

“Fee consultation occurs directly between Residence Services and the RSA but the role that [the SU] played has been support and research,” said Kingston. “We’re trying to be a resource to them as much as we can and then eventually we’ll be required to represent [the RSA] position to the board of governors when the increase is proposed on February 22nd.”

Kingston said the approval process should be quick. She added that Residence Services needs to prove that the purpose of this fee increase is cost recovery.

Kingston said the residence renewal plan is also being used to justify the increase, buildings with more investment will have bigger increases.

The residence renewal plan is based on renovating and upgrading certain buildings. Rundle was renovated last summer and Kananaskis will be renovated this summer. Mason further noted the renovations are not supposed to affect overall residence fees.

“They are planning on doing a base market price adjustment for both Rundle and Kananaskis,” said Mason.

Mason said that the residence fee increase is not as frustrating as it has been in the past.

“There was definitely more frustration with it a few years ago when it was a larger amount,” said Mason. “This is the smallest increase in the last couple of years.”

Mason added that general tuition increases at the university will probably be a bigger concern for students.

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