Campus life threatened by opt-out policy – Student groups

Student groups in Ontario have been bracing for a fight since the Doug Ford government introduced the Student Choice Initiative this past January. The Ontario government said the move would help students save money and allow them to choose which ancillary fees they wanted to pay. Student groups called it an attempt to silence political opposition, writes Joe Friesen for The Globe and Mail.

Campaigns to persuade students to pay the fees voluntarily kicked into gear across the province this week. The results won’t be known until the opt-out period ends in late September. Many student leaders say they’re nervous. “What worries me is that the landscape of student life we’ve been privileged to have won’t be the same,” said Joshua Bowman, president of the University of Toronto Students’ Union.

At the University of Toronto students are presented with a list of more than 25 optional fees, ranging from scholarships to student clubs. For each student, the decisive moment boils down to a long list on a computer screen. Each item has a price and a description limited to 150 characters. For many students, Bowman fears, that one- or two-sentence description will be the extent of what they know about the groups whose future depends on them.
Full report on The Globe and Mail site