WLUSU investigating iTeach fee and referendum

In recent meetings of the Student’s Union at Laurier in Brantford and Waterloo, Nippissing University’s iTeach fee has been called into question.

“WLUSU is currently working on a review of the program and the implementation in collaboration with Laurier and Nipissing administration. We’re currently working on a formal letter to express our concerns as to both administrations about the implementation of this program as a whole, including the fee process and the voting process that took place last year,” said Melissa Burke, the Executive Vice President of Brantford Operations for the Wilfrid Laurier Students Union.

WLUSU is hoping to gain insight into the $250 fee that has been charged to all Nipissing students in Brantford. After their investigation WLUSU executive will decide what actions must take place to ensure student’s are being treated fairly.
“Part of the review is to decide whether or not that vote was legal. Generally a referendum like that, that would affect an increase in a fee would have to go through a sanctioned referendum. And unless Nipissing University Student’s Union held that, and they didn’t, it’s debatable to whether or not that vote is binding,” said Burke.

The compulsory iTeach fee is designed to offer students an edge in classroom technology. According to the iTeach pamphlet given out to students last year, Apple laptops, digital cameras and Smart Boards will be used to enrich learning within their program. Since all students are required to pay the fee, they are offered extended learning opportunities which are workshops outside of class time.

A particularly vocal student advocating changes to the fee said, “Money is tight for all students and demanding $250 dollars for a program that some students feel they are not going to get sufficient use of, whether it be because their semesters are jam packed so workshops are impossible or they do not have open interest in the technology, is unfair and unethical.”

The Sputnik will follow up on the outcome of the WLUSU letter and review in the next issue. Any questions or comments on the issue can be directed to alex.denonville@thesputnik.ca

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