A town hall was held by IGNITE in the Humber IGNITE Student Centre and president Maja Jocson lead the discussion.
Students asked an array of questions about the strike and how the school will be dealing with issues around the strike and the newly revised schedules.
The paltry group of students who did attend the meeting expressed concerns about how projects and tests remaining for their courses will be weighted, concerns about stress and above all, funds from the government mandated relief funds.
Still, largely the message remains the same. Administration sympathizes with students and feel it has done its best to accommodates students and have properly adjusted schedules for all parties’ best interest.
“Really we are really only going from a 15-week semester to a 13-week semester, which is not uncommon,” said Alvina Cassiani, Dean of Business School. “We are all working together to assess with and support our students so learning outcomes may be achieved.”
Many of the submitted questions were specifically about getting their tuition refund, course withdrawal implications and the fund that provides $500 to students who experienced hardship.
The student hardship relief fund was set up under a mandate from the government to take funding saved by the colleges during the duration of the strike for students who experienced hardship and financial stress.
“Forms for application will be made available this afternoon,” said Barbara Riach, Humber Registrar.
She said students must provide “documents and receipts that support their claim” of extra finances spent during the strike or that a previously planned arrangement was interrupted to qualify for the fund payment of up to $500.
Students at Humber College can find the application on the MyHumber website and University of Guelph-Humber students have to fill out a paper copy of the form. Funding will be released by both schools after Dec. 5.
First-year mechanical engineering student Taijean Moodie expressed concerns to the panel that a $500 refund will not be enough and that his friends will be dropping out.
But the panel reiterated the limit of the fund payment.
“The $500 amount was set out as a mandate by the government and is paid by net savings we experienced. We know it will not be enough for everything,” said Dean of Students Jen McMillen.
In contrast Julian Rasetta, a first-year student in media communications, felt nothing has really has been disrupted and it should have any detrimental effects on success.
“There really is no difference coming back, it was an easy transition,” Rasetta said. “I don’t see a point of dropping out right now because everything is fine and the school is handling it nicely. It’s like I never left.”
Students dropping out can get their tuition money back until Dec. 5, but there are implications for their academic progress.
“Some programs are very sequenced, so if you drop out now you may have to take the rest of the year off,” said George Bragues, assistant vice president of Guelph-Humber.
“I know when it comes to the business school, courses are heavily sequenced.”
Specifically, for Humber College students, dropping out this semester means they will have to reapply for their seat in the course next semester, which means competing with new applicants.
Guelph-Humber students are able to reapply in any semester within six months of withdrawing, depending specifically on how their course is sequenced.
“There is only one admission period per year, so if you drop out you run the risk of losing your seat in the program and will have to compete with students coming in as freshmen,” Cassiani said.
Students who opt to withdraw and get a refund but used OSAP will see funds directly sent back to the National Student Loan Service.
For students in need of additional health and wellness services, they remain open.
McMillen recommends any student in need takes advantage of them by going to the Wellness and accessibility centre on the second floor of the LRC.