With the recent decision from the 2013 Student Election, 70.8% of voters clicked yes to the Athletic Complex fee, which will result in another cost on the tuition bill (up to $40 per term). However, this is an investment we can see grow as students, but what about the food services fee that we already pay for, and continue to do so?
If you take a look at the fees that show up on your tuition bill every year, you may notice one that reads on Telaris as “Brantford Food Serv Facility,” or, Brantford Food Services Facility. This fee costs $3.75-$15 per semester, $7.50-$30 dollars a year. Full time students see the costs at the maximum amount. The only thing about it is, there is no such existence of a food facility at Laurier Brantford, nor has there been much talk about it.
This fee appears smaller than most on the bill, so some students may not realize what they are paying for. “I’m confused about what it covers. If it covers the pancake breakfasts and stuff like that then I would not have a problem with it. Also, if it covers the food bank I’m cool with that. Otherwise, I’m not very pleased I’m being charged for these ‘food services’,” says third year Criminology student Derek Wareham. “I don’t even care if we have any food services, we’re footsteps away from inexpensive restaurants and such,” he says. Wareham’s comments are a prime example of how this fee is misunderstood, and also how more talk about the reasoning behind it is needed.
What may seem like a small fund for some seems to add up very quickly. Back in 2008, it was voted that this fee would appear on tuition bills, and the fee started in 2009. At the highest rate, being thirty dollars a year, and 2700 students would make for a total of $81,000 dollars. With the addition of the Research and Academic Centre, the population of the school is projected to be around 3500-4000 students. Then, add on the amount of years this has been happening, the dollars add up.
Although the number of students attending Laurier Brantford has grown, and this past year it is at it’s highest number yet, when the numbers are put into perspective, it may cause more of a concern for students of where there money will end up, and if they will see the day where it will be put towards a food service facility before their time at Laurier Brantford ends.
“This year we have established a Food Services Task Force and we are currently developing a survey to be filled out by students in an effort to find out what our core members are looking for,” explains Bre Carnes, Vice President: Campus Experience here at Laurier Brantford. Carnes continues to explain more plans into the development of the facility, she says, “We will also be holding Focus Groups on campus. Our goal is to develop Food Services that will benefit the campus and our unique structure.”
Although we may not have total control over what we pay for as students, the fees we pay should be easily recognizable. Being able to recognize what fees are being paid for and why they are being charged enables students to actively participate, and let their voices be heard.