IGNITE talks with Humber and UGH regarding mandatory student fees

by | Apr 8, 2019 | Guelph-Humber, Headlines, IGNITE, Lakeshore, News, North, Orangeville

Christian Aguirre, News Reporter

IGNITE is in talks with Humber and University of Guelph-Humber officials to discuss and modify fees in accordance with the new provincial student choice initiative fees (SCI).

The SCI proposed by the Ford government has been a curve ball for student unions across Ontario. Starting next year, students will have the ability to opt out of ‘non-essential fees’ which includes certain IGNITE services.

“There is a committee called fee protocol committee, so every ancillary fee that a student pays is overseen and administered by a committee and this committee has IGNITE people on it and it has members of Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber administration on it,” said IGNITE Executive Director Ercole Perrone.

IGNITE executives, from left, Monica Khosla, Graham Budgeon and Jeremy Largo-Afonso pose for a photo before the IGNITE 2019 Annual General Meeting. (Christian Aguirre)

Perrone said the meetings will determine whether the parties are approaching the intent of the policy correctly, “and what’s going to stay, what’s gonna go, what’s going to be mandatory, and what’s going to be optional.”

The SCI leaves IGNITE with a level of uncertainty over how much funding it will receive.

“Because of this optional component, predictability is out the window because no one has ever had to do this,” Perrone said. “Next year we don’t know if it’s 90, 80, or 70 per cent” of students opting into IGNITE Services.

He said the budget ratified at the Annual General Meeting on March 27 will be used as a guide once it is known how many students opt into IGNITE services.

“We have prioritized what we want to do to and based on (Humber students) selections it will determine our ability to execute or deliver it or implement it to the extent that we want to,” Perrone said.

He said once IGNITE knows what aspects of the budget are mandatory for students they will break down the rest into components that students can choose.

“All of us (on the fee protocol committee) are doing the same thing right now, which is looking at how we currently operate, meshing that with what the government directives are and deciding what fits into that mandatory category and what fits into that optional category,” Perrone said.

He said IGNITE has developed a list of important initiatives which they think should be mandatory.

“We are making some proposals that some of what you see in (the AGM budget) should be deemed mandatory and that’s a conversation that (IGNITE) will have with Humber and we will review the guidelines that the government gave,” Perrone said.

“I think what we have created is strong but IGNITE does not get to decide 100 per cent, and the committee is part of that process,” he said.