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

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

DATELINE 1969: Narcotics seminar hears call for drug law reform

Greg Scott digs into the Nelson Daily News archives

Motion calls on Rossland city council to recognize ‘climate crisis’

Andy Morel wants to raise awareness of urgent need for action by higher levels of government

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

CHECK THIS OUT: Enquiring minds want to know

Anne DeGrace writes about the diverse reasons people use the library

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Most Read