The cost of secession

Mar. 24 annual general meeting to decide whether ESS student fees will be halved

SGPS President Jeff Welsh says his society will provide additional administrative support for the ESS when it’s absorbed by the SGPS next year.
SGPS President Jeff Welsh says his society will provide additional administrative support for the ESS when it’s absorbed by the SGPS next year.

When the Society of Graduate and Professional Students absorbs the Education Students’ Society, SGPS President Jeff Welsh said reducing education students’ student fee is both feasible and fair.

Welsh, PhD ’09, said SGPS council will vote on Mar. 24 at their annual general meeting on whether or not to support a reduced student fee of $30 for education students. Other members in the SGPS pay a $60 student fee.

“There are real issues around the academic schedules of education students. Given that education students are only on campus four months out of the year, they won’t be drawing on these services. Even the ones who are in Kingston for practicum are in classrooms all day long. When they’re in town, they’re busy. They’re in a unique situation. All we’ve done is recognize that.

“Other services come from the AMS like Bus-It and Walkhome, so our budget won’t be affected.” Welsh said fees stemming from CFS for tax filing services and TravelCUTS will also remain the same. “In terms of social activities and other events, bigger events often mean a lower per person cost.”

The overall impact of education students on the SGPS will be positive, he said.

“Having more members—even at half member rate—means we won’t have to raise the general fee next year.

“A big part of the cost of running a society are fixed costs for things like office space. With a bigger society we can actually spread the cost over more members.”

In preparation for the change, Welsh said he’s implementing measures to ensure a smooth transition for the ESS.

“We’re establishing an education student commissioner to act as a liaison between education students and the SGPS executive.

“We’re also in the process of working with IT services to set up online opt-out fees. That will help reduce the work load,” he said. “As it is now, students have to come into our office to fill out a form or use a computer.”

Welsh said the additional support provided for B.Ed students won’t result in an increase of the SGPS general annual fee.

“None of these items is very expensive but they’ll go a long way in helping the convenience of education students.”

SGPS administrative support for education students will be put in place next year, Welsh said.

“Because September is by far our busiest month, there will be two front desk staff on at all times. This should make things a lot more convenient for all of our members. We’ll have a table on west campus both to provide information. [Education students] won’t actually have to come to campus,” he said. “For the new masters and PhD students coming in that will be a convenience.”

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