Friday, October 9, 2009

It’s your call: One click could save you $55 per term in athletics fees

Should students pay for a new athletic facility with a “new” $55/term fee (in addition to the current $73/term fee)?

You will be asked to vote on this question October 19-23, 2009 on webvote at

The Graduate Students’ Society is opposed to this fee increase. Here are some of our reasons:

Is this fee increase legal?

The GSS is concerned that the fee increase is not permitted under BC’s tuition limit policy, which caps increases of tuition and fees for current programs at 2% per year. This new fee will be a 75% fee increase for students.

The GSS has sent UVic a letter (PDF) asking UVIC to account for this, and will post any reply we receive on our campaign site here:

Who uses and who pays?

In the January 2009 term alone, contribution by students to the Athletics and Recreation budget was $1,082,939.00without including additional fees paid by students for intramural, weight room, and program fees.

According to UVIC data for January – March 2009, which assumes average usage of 1-3 visits per week, about 30% of undergraduates and 8% of graduate students are using the Ian Stewart Complex (the most popular recreation facility on campus).

Athletics fees: the goal posts keep moving!

Until UVIC purchased the Ian Stewart Complex (ISC), athletic fees increased at a rate almost identical to inflation. Since the purchase of ISC, students have been paying a greater proportion of the cost for Athletics at UVIC each year. In the past decade, the proportion of the Athletics budget covered by student fees has risen from 20% to 38%.

Mandatory fees can be a benefit—if they are less than market rate

Compare this fee proposal to the U-pass... the U-pass costs one quarter the cost of buying a monthly buss pass. Every student pays in, but the cost is kept lower than market rate. In return, transit improves bus service to Victoria campuses.

Now compare the proposed athletics fee proposal to other recreation passes in Victoria *:

No. of terms

Current fee

New fee

One term



Two Terms



Three Terms




Sannich Rec student pass


Oak Bay Rec annual pass


YM-YWCA pass

- family pass



* graduate students will have the option to opt out of the summer term; summer term will be charged at 50%. 60% of graduate students and 20% of undergraduates pay 3 terms of fees per year.

What are the other options?

UVIC says mandatory student fees need to cover 36.7% of the cost of the building—but what are other options? UVIC’s consultation process suggested selling the Ian Stewart Complex as one revenue source. Other options include bigger donor campaigns, a stronger lobby for government support.

UVIC’s facility analysis indicates UVIC will seek to cover costs of the building with the following revenues:

1. New students Mandatory Fee

2. Program revenues

3. Donors

4. Government funding

5. UVIC contribution

What are the arguments in favour of the fee increase?

UVIC made a presentation to the GSS Grad Council about the proposal. It can be found here.

UVIC’s facility analysis (500 pages) can be found here.

UVIC’s/vikes website supporting the fee increase is here

Student facebook group in support of the fee increase is found on the vikes website here

Visit open houses

Help the campaign

Visit the GSS campaign site, download a poster, learn more: all here

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