After reading the article titled “Demanding reasons for residence fees” in the December 3 issue of The Medium, I cannot help but communicate my deepest dissatisfaction with the reasons given for the increase in residence fees. I feel that the justification of the $400 fee was not shown in the light of the great effect it has on the lives of students who are not aware of the current situation.
I was part of the group of students that met with UTM’s Student Housing and Residence Life staff concerning the justification of the $400 residence fee for students who decide to stay for the holidays. According to Dale Mullings, UTM’s director of residence and student life, the jump from $250 to $400 was because the residences were given on-call staff at the time. During the meeting, we asked why the need for on-call staff arose; we were told that cases of lockouts, suicidal students, and snow days demanded the services of on-call staff.
But one question that Mullings failed to answer satisfactorily was the question about any specific incident that led to this need. There was no evidence that an issue in the past led to this need.
He also stated that the increase in the amount was as a result of an increase in the number of students. A fee increase would make more sense if the number of students making use of these services decreased in number since there would fewer students bearing the costs. Until I see an operating budget that compares the cost of on-call staff when students were charged $250 and the current charge of $400, I refuse to believe that more students needing winter housing over the break is a justification for $400 charge.