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Students’ Union approves hike in tuition and residence fees over holiday break

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During a University of Calgary Board of Governors meeting on Dec.13, the Students’ Union voted in favour of changes that will raise the price of tuition and residence fees in September 2014.

In May 2014, tuition for full-time undergraduate students will go up by one per cent, or $53 a year. This is the maximum tuition hike allowed under the post-secondary learning act, which ties any rise in tuition to the consumer price index.

During a presentation before the board, Students’ Union president Raphael Jacob and vice-president external Connor Brown said the SU is willing to approve small tuition raises tied to the CPI. They stressed that the SU will vote against any fee increase through mandatory non-instructional fees or market modifiers.

Mandatory non-instructional fees were raised $150 last semester and have gone up by $450 in the last five years.

Brown and Jacob said the SU’s support came, in part, because of the school’s financial losses following provincial budget cuts last year.

One of the slides in their presentation read “students recognize that there are budgetary pressures.”

The only person to vote against the tuition hike was Michael Smith, the student representative on the board of governors. Smith said he could not vote for the increase in good conscience.

“I know that students’ incomes are not going up by one per cent or two per cent every year — they’re staying static,” Smith said. “I know for a lot of students, another $50 is not something they can stomach.”

Residence fee increases proposed by Ancillary Services last October were approved in the meeting. The cost to live in student family housing, Global Village, Cascade, Kananaskis, Rundle and Yamnuska will go up 5 per cent. Olympic Legacy Building fees will go up by 2-3 per cent. And in Olympus and Glacier Halls, up by 2–4 per cent.

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