TRSS to boost student fees if referendum passes

The Ted Rogers Students’ Society (TRSS) is seeking approval to hold a referendum for students, asking if they will support a levy increase of $25 per semester, indexed to Toronto’s inflation.

Students in the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) currently pay $60 to TRSS in their yearly tuition.

If they vote yes, their levy will increase by 83 per cent for a total payment of $110.

The society conducted an online survey of students where 62 per cent of respondents said they would support a levy increase. Of that 62 per cent, 38 per cent “indicated willingness to pay $25 more a term to expand the services and programs offered by TRSS.”

“This effort will continue to enrich our membership experience,” TRSS president Nav Marwah said in an email. “(It) will be an opportunity to increase the number of co-ops and internships we can subsidize for our membership. It will also increase the number of bursaries we offer.”

According to a presentation at the Jan. 29 board of governors meeting, 27 per cent of the levy would go to group funding, 30 per cent to experiential learning, 16 per cent to events, five per cent to conferences and competitions, five per cent to marketing and three percent to bursaries.

If the board of governors approve the vote, TRSS will hold it sometime this semester. If the majority vote yes, the increase takes effect in September 2019.

“The betterment of the school is what I’d like to see in the long-term, but I want to see proof of where it’s going,” said Arjun Sahota, third-year global management studies and business law student. “I don’t want to hear that they’re going to do the same initiatives at a bigger scale. I expect more, whether it be another zone of innovation or something of the like.”

Despite graduating before its possible implementation, Sahota said he still supports the idea of increasing the levy, even if he doesn’t get to capitalize on the benefits.

TRSS represents and funds 31 student groups and course unions, all of which have agreed to the levy increase. The society also covers partial to full costs for students attending conferences and competitions, as well as providing business cards at a cheaper rate and running experiential learning events.

“Without knowing the situation or thinking about it, it looks like a hefty increase,” said Eduardo Rodriguez, second-year global management studies student. “Since the last levy increase happened a decade ago, it’s understandable why they need it. Prices increase, as does demand, so I am okay with paying that.”

In 2009, TRSS passed a referendum which increased the levy from $20 to the current $60, also indexed at Toronto inflation.

Currently, students in the Ryerson Communication and Design Society (RCDS), the Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS), the Ryerson Science Society (RSS) and the Ryerson Liberal Arts Society (RLAS) all pay $60 to their student societies in their tuition.

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