With the winter term quickly approaching, SA President Emily Ferguson says the college is looking at all options for financial circumstances. Photo credit: Kened Sadiku

Algonquin Students’ Association president Emily Ferguson says the sports fee included in students’ tuition will again be reduced in the winter term.

“To account for the suspension of varsity sports, the SA has reduced the sports fee from $72.63 to $52.97,” said Ferguson. That’s a total savings to students of $19.66.

As tuition prices for programs remain relatively the same, the next question is what the college might be doing for the other fee portions.

“Other than the suspension of all varsity sports, all other services and facilities included in the sports fee are available (to students),” said Ferguson.

This includes the Fitness Zone which is now open to students and staff only.

Ferguson also says that all fees, including the sports fee, are “reviewed on an annual basis” in compliance with the ministry’s binding policy directives.

She also says it’s critical to note that this fee stays in place for the maintenance of the facilities on campus. For example, making sure all resources are still available for services on campus that are open.

“It’s important to keep in mind that a significant portion of this fee is applied to ensuring the facility loan obligations are met as well as ensuring the appropriate resources are in place to maintain the facilities.”

The college has already seen its fair share of service stoppages or restrictions for health and safety safety reasons around the Ottawa campus. For instance, all visits to health services since mid-March must be pre-booked with no walk-ins available.

Ferguson says the SA understands the college has encountered many financial hardships as a result of the pandemic.

“The SA understands that the college and all post-secondary institutions have encountered unforeseen costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “Setting up faculty and support staff to teach and work from home is just one example. We also appreciated a significant loss in revenue from a reduced amount of students.”

“Rather than advocating for a reduction in tuition, the SA and your board of directors are advocating for the preservation of student services and access to education.”