“It is obvious that the university needs to seriously reconsider the MTCU’s policy on compulsory fees,” finds the UTSU’s report. “Many of the fees currently being charged to students do not fall within the guidelines, and many more of these fees are simply unjustified or illegal.” The UTSU’s submission condemns the university, claiming that it should be “ashamed” for “exploiting what it considers to be loopholes in the policy as a means of generating revenue.”The unions and the administration remain divided over the question of at least eight other fees, ranging from copyright access to co-op fees, to system access fees for ROSI. “It is becoming more of a trend for universities to go to student councils to raise fees,” said Munib Sajjad, vice-president, university affairs for the UTSU. “We have to look into things like infrastructure fees and computer fees, and why we should be paying this.”
The administration’s fee review was conducted by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students, and the Planning and Budget Office. Its findings were presented to the Business Board in late-January 2013, several months later than the university had promised.At the Business Board meeting, Mabury stated that the crux of the university’s findings were that “most fees in Category 5/6 were found to be [in] compliance” with a limited number of fees that were not compliant.The administration’s report commits to discontinuing the fees found in violation by 2013–2014. The university has also ruled that iClickers and other additional online materials for courses are no longer required to be purchased by students in order to complete a mandatory credit course — instead, the university is to provide other methods of evaluation to its students that do not require these materials.
The report also commits to updating departmental websites, and revising the next ancillary fee schedule to “unbundle” certain fees that are currently a black box, levied under vaguely-worded descriptions, such as the laboratory supply fee that charges for multiple items, such as course manuals, lab coats, and equipment. The university will also clear up another vague fee that is charged to students in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) for unspecified course materials by elaborating on what it covers on the IBBME website and in the 2013–2014 fees schedule. “It is important to the university to ensure that students have full information on the fees that they pay,” said Mabury. The report contains a host of other measures intended to address the obscure nature of some fees, including a new “best practices” website and more extensive consultations with students, staff, and faculty.