Queen’s residence fees to increase by 2.96 per cent for 2023-24 year

Loft/bunk double room fee to increase by 13 per cent

The fee increases reflect inflation and the costs of the JDUC renovation.
Journal File Photo

The Board of Trustees approved 2023-24 residence fees during their meeting on May 13.

The new fees reflect a 2.96 per cent total increase in residence fees. The per cent increases vary by room type—notably, the rate for loft/bunk double rooms will increase by 13 per cent, up to $ 10, 589 compared to $9,343 last year.

In the 2024-25 year, the fee will increase an additional 13 per cent, which amounts to a total 26 per cent increase over the two-year period. According to the April 12 Board of Trustees report, the new rate reflects half of the cost of a single room, plus the full cost of the meal plan.

“The rate […] has historically been very low and has not reflected the full value of the meal plan,” Mark Green, provost, and vice-principal (academic), wrote in the report.

According to the report, the fees for single-plus rooms will increase by 3.25 per cent based on students highly valuing semi-private washrooms. The fees for single, double, triple, and quad rooms will increase by 2.5 per cent.

From the 2021-22 academic year to the 2022-23 academic year, all residence fees, regardless of room type, were increased by 2.75 per cent, per a table attached in the report.

The report says these fee increases reflect financial impacts of the JDUC renovation, which resulted in the loss of 91 residence beds, as well as impacts of the pandemic. They also reflect increases in operating costs, like utilities, maintenance, wages, food, and insurance.

The Senate Residence Committee (SRC)’s budget subcommittee—which includes student representation from the AMS, SGPS, and Residence Society (ResSoc)—reviewed all fee increases.

According to the AMS’s Principles and Positions Policy, approved in January 2021, the University must offer affordable accommodation to students—the policy specifically mentions the loft/bunk double room as a lower-cost option.

“Queen’s University must continue offering accommodations at reduced rates […] to ensure all students have access to residence regardless of financial circumstances,” the policy says.

According to Eric Sikich, AMS president, an AMS representative has not yet been designated to sit on the SRC subcommittee this year.

“As the residence fee rate increase does not align with the current Executive’s mission or desire for increased accessible and affordable housing, the current AMS team does not support [the decision to increase the fee],” he wrote in a statement to The Journal.

An AMS working group for student housing is coming, according to Sikich. The working group will advocate for issues such as affordability, housing conditions, and legal complications.

“Living in residence is a rite of passage that we believe every first-year student deserves the chance to experience; thus, increasing resident rates such as the loft economy double room, limits the student experience,” Sikich wrote.

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