26 Nov Ontario court strikes down policy allowing post-secondary students to opt out of fees
This fall students returning to campus faced the choice: do I pay extra fees to support non-essential services?
What are non-essential services? Student unions, campus media, clubs, intramural sports or food banks are some of the most common ones.
These services used to be funded by mandatory ancillary fees, but the Ford Government made them optional as part of the Student Choice Initiative. This policy also cut tuition by 10% and drastically reduced accessibility to, and support from, provincial student loan program OSAP.
Last Friday Ontario Courts quashed the opt-out policy arguing that it interfered with University autonomy.
Why does this matter?
Our labour market increasingly values experience and competency over academic certification. Only 20% of Ontario students get access to experiential learning opportunities through co-op and internship programs. For the other 80% of students: clubs, student unions, campus media, charities, and other student orgs provide an invaluable opportunity to gain professional experience while in school.
Students involved in extracurricular actives like: charities, part-time work, volunteering, or leadership programs are far more likely to be offered interviews than peers who did nothing but study.
In case you missed it check out the Globe’s coverage on this here