How Ryerson students will be impacted
On January 17th, the provincial government announced sweeping rollbacks to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), funding for Ontario colleges and universities and dramatically altering how student fees are administered.
The provincial government has announced a 10 per cent cut to tuition fees for domestic students across all programs, which will adversely affect each institutions’ funding. The government has also rolled back OSAP regulations to their 2016 form, which will result in a reduction in non-repayable grants and an increase in student loans and, therefore, the amount of student debt, while also proposing to remove the 6-month grace period for charging interest on student loans. These changes will make OSAP less accessible to the most marginalized who would be left with unsustainable debt. The announcement of a 10 per cent tuition cut seems like a welcome relief at first, but coupled with the OSAP changes this produces an overall loss for the majority of students. With both of these taken into account, the average student will save around $800 to $900 but lose several thousands more in grants.
Aside from the changes to your students’ tuition, all non-essential student fees will be made optional aside from Athletics, WalkSafe and other health and wellness fees. The government has indicated that the university administration would determine which student fees are essential. This poses a huge threat to student life at Ryerson, as student fees encompass our faculty student societies, campus media and our central students’ unions which fund campus groups, the food bank, health and dental plans, academic and legal support and much more. These groups and services are the backbone of student life on campus, and are what make the experience worth it for so many students. It is still unclear what the provincial government will determine as criteria for our university to decide what is essential and what is non-essential. However, each of the student fees that are at risk were democratically decided by students through referendums.
Many Ryerson students have chosen our campus because of the vast amount of student engagement opportunities - and the hundreds of student jobs these fee-funded groups provide. We know that this legislation poses a serious threat to your ability to access education and could potentially affect plans that you made to pay for university. These changes concern us as much as they concern you and we plan to fight to make sure these changes do not go through. That is why you need to get involved.
We are calling on all Ryerson students to join our campaign: volunteer, ask questions, sign our postcards and petitions, come to events, rallies and meetings with legislators and to organize to save student life here at Ryerson.
Jacob Dubè, Editor-in-Chief
Liane McLarty, General Manager
CJRU Radio Ryerson
Jacky Tuinstra Harrison, General Manager
Elissa Matthews, Program Director
Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson
Ryerson Community Service Society Board of Directors
Ryerson Engineering Student Society Board of Directors
Ryerson Liberal Arts Society Board of Directors
Ryerson Science Society Board of Directors
Ryerson Student Centre
Ted Rogers Students’ Society Board of Directors
Savreen Gosal, Vice-President Operations
Karolina Surowiec, Vice President Equity
James Fotak, Faculty of Arts
Sarah Mohamed, Faculty of Arts
Shehroz Shabbir, Faculty of Arts Tamar Lyons, Faculty of Communication and Design
Leah Renaud, Faculty of Communication and Design
Chelsea Davenport, Faculty of Community Services
Cristal Hines, Faculty of Community Services
Ram Ragupathy, Faculty of Community Services
Khadija Raza, Faculty of Community Services
Alessandro Cunsolo, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Iyvan Chandran, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Daniyal Patricio, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Karol Bahnan, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Maria Vu, Faculty of Science
Simi Olatunji, Ted Rogers School of Management
Ravneet Sohi, Ted Rogers School of Management
Kruti Dave, Ted Rogers School of Management
Amber Grant , Deputy Chairperson Education, Graduate Council
Sreeraj Sasidharan Nair, Graduate Deputy Chairperson Finance
Hamza Shahid, Course Unions Director
Fahim Khan, Senate Representative
Maklane deWever, Student Groups Director