Policy in progress

Queen’s collaborates with AMS, SGPS on student fee protocol

A new policy for compulsory non-tuition-related student fees is in the process of being finalized at Queen’s.

A draft of the policy was discussed at AMS Assembly last Thursday and was initiated by Student Affairs. The policy will stipulate regulations for introducing and changing non-academic student fees at Queen’s for both the AMS and SGPS. 

Queen’s has never had a shared policy on student fees.

In 1994, the provincial government froze increases in non-academic student fees, such as those for capital projects and student services, requiring universities to regulate protocols which would allow them to change fees.

“These provincial regulations govern the development of a student fee protocol at Queen’s,” Mira Dineen, AMS vice-president of university affairs, told the Journal via email. “At the time, the AMS considered developing a student fee protocol, but it became apparent to both the AMS and the University that existing student referendum process complied with both the spirit and the letter of the new government requirements.”

The process of putting forward a formal policy began two years ago after the Education Student Society (ESS) seceded from the AMS to the SGPS in 2009. 

Students affiliated with ESS only attend Queen’s four months out of the year, and didn’t want to pay the full slate of AMS fees. 

At the time, no regulations existed to transition the society out of the AMS. The new policy seeks to clarify the rules involved when a society or service transfers from one student association to another.

“The student fee protocol was brought to AMS Assembly last week for discussion so that any concerns or questions could be addressed, and the document could be brought back to a later Assembly meeting,” Dineen, Artsci ’11, said.

Matthew Scribner, SGPS president, said the policy is a positive measure to clarify already existing practices at Queen’s.

“In the past they’ve done this informally and gone by student society bylaws and the protocol reflects that practice so it’s more of a formalization,” Scribner, PhD ’12, said. 

A draft copy of the policy needs to go through AMS Assembly, SGPS Council and Queen’s Board of Trustees prior to being finalized. 

“I think it’s important that the document recognizes already existing practices and it just lets the student society by-laws speak for themselves.”

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