Jijith Haridas

Selkirk College board approves new student fees

The Selkirk College board of governors voted to approve new student fees at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Students at the local college can expect to pay a little more next year, but also to see an increase in student services.

The Selkirk College board of governors voted to approve new student fees at a meeting on Tuesday night. The board also agreed to start charging tuition for developmental education up to $1600 per semester for the spring and to raise regular tuition and existing student fees by the maximum allowed amount.

The board’s decision followed a presentation from Jijith Haridas, a student union board member, in which he reminded board members that some students are already paying as much as they can and asked the board to go back to the Ministry of Advanced Education for the needed funding instead of asking students to cover the costs.

“We know the ministry has been cutting the funding to the institutions over the years and it has always gone down over the years,” said Haridas. “But what we are requesting is that instead of passing on that burden to the students, let’s take this back to the ministry and let’s try to increase the funding rather than downloading it further to the students.”

The new fees are to cover the costs of student services, like disability support and counseling department staff. Additional staff are needed to help serve more students needing support.

“In line with the rest of Canada, the number of Selkirk College students with mental health challenges has increased significantly over the last five years (240 per cent),” the college explained in a press release.

The new fees will also go toward health and wellness projects that were piloted using one-time grants, expanding the co-op education and employment services’ online student job portal to Nelson, and the student ambassador program, which provides additional employment-related work experience for students.

With so many cuts being made by the ministry, including the $6.9 million it once provided to keep Adult Basic Education tuition free, the board said the only way it can continue to provide appropriate student services is to introduce new fees.

Now that the fees have been approved, the board of governors will need to ensure that students are getting their money’s worth.

“This is a specifically targeted fee for specific services, so we are expecting reporting back as to what new services have been introduced,” said Sharel Wallace, chair of the board. “We also would hope that if those services aren’t up to snuff, that the students would come back to us and let us know that their needs are not being met. Because we rely on them to let us know.”

The college will also need to make sure students are aware of the new services and the student union will be able to help with that.

Haridas from the student union said that he hopes some student services he knows have been cut will be able to be restored now, and it’s not the college he blames for burdening students with the cost.

“I know it’s nothing to do with the Selkirk College. It’s the Ministry of Advanced Education, which has been constantly cutting the fund and that has been impacting the students who are at the receiving end,” he said.

Just Posted

RDCK approves loan request to remediate Salmo tailings site

The H.B. Mine tailings pond poses a risk of toxic contamination

VIDEO: John Dooley elected Nelson’s mayor

Logtenberg, Anderson, Woodward, Renwick, Morrison and Page elected to council

15 new mayors to take office across the Kootenays

Here’s a look at the highlights from across the Kootenay region in B.C.

Castlegar voters choose Tassone as new mayor

All incumbent councillors also returned

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

N.B. village faces backlash after council raises ‘straight flag’

Chipman Mayor Carson Atkinson says the flag met the village council’s criteria because it “recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Most Read