McMaster Students Send Clear Message - No New Fees Unless We Benefit

By Joey Coleman // @JoeyColeman
Published: Jan 28 2017 (6 months ago) // Last Updated: Jan 28 2017 (6 months ago)

McMaster students have sent a clear message this year, they are not an unlimited funding source and will not approve new fees on their tuition bill unless they see value in those fees.

In a series of referendums this year, McMaster undergraduates voted down fees proposed by the University for a further expansion of mandatory fees for Athletics and Recreation1, ended the fee to the Marmor yearbook and voted down a new fee for a digital yearbook2, likely (the referendum was invalidated by wrongdoing) voted down a mandatory fee for a discount card3, voted down a SobiHamilton bulk membership fee proposal4. The only fee increase students did vote for was to improve their HSR U-Pass5, and even this preferential ballot showed a strong preference towards no fee increase.

This is a fascinating thread. For years, McMaster undergrads approved the vast majority of new fee proposals. Today, a McMaster undergraduate student will pay nearly $1000 per academic year in ancillary fees. Items such as the Solar Car, Engineers without Boards, and McMaster Marching Band were approved recently. Could this be the end of new ancillary fees?

It's not just undergraduates who are rejecting new and increasing fees. Graduate students voted down McMaster administration's request for graduate students to pay the higher undergraduate rate for student services 6. McMaster's administration responded by severely restricting graduate access to services such as mental health support.7

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