As I take a look at my 2010-11 fees, something just seems wrong. When I was accepted to U of T two years ago, the last thing on my mind was ancillary fees. My course fees add up to around $6200. There are certain extras I’m more than willing to pay for, such as use of the libraries and publication of The Varsity. Thus, we can add around $230. This makes our total $6430. ROSI tells me I’m currently owing $6940.78. This leaves around $500 dollars unaccounted for.For example, this year, we pay $136.05 per semester for Athletics. This is $272.10 for the entire year. To me this says that I will have paid around $1000 by the end of four years. And what will I have paid for?Before the fervour of health nuts and athletics students sets in, let me explain myself. I should be able to opt out of paying, just like I opt out of paying for medical and dental because I’m already covered. What about those of us, myself not included, who already belong to gyms? Should they have to pay for athletics as well? Is it possible to have a system wherein a student goes to a U of T gym, has his or her T-Card swiped or Student Number entered into a computer, which displays whether or not he or she has paid for a gym membership?
U of T charges us for student services, health services, athletics, Hart House, and Constituent College fees. It also charges us on behalf of student organizations, for student society fees, social and cultural services (Hart House excluded) and other fees levied by student organizations to cover the costs of operating the organizations or services provided by them. To quote the policy: “The University may act as a collection agent for [any] student organization.”So let’s take a look at ROSI and break this down. We pay around $140 dollars a year to Hart House. Hart House has plenty of contributors, and easily makes its money back in ticket sales, so why should we have to pay all this money for it? Especially those of us who aren’t in Arts or Theatre and couldn’t care less? This is on top of fees we pay to our colleges (as a Vic student, between VUSAC and student services, I end up paying $150 a year as well as UTSU and ASSU fees. This is a slight exaggeration, but since part of this money is going to something that is basically useless to me (Athletics), I see it as a waste.Could some of the money we pool our facilities, which are some of the most expensive in Canada, instead be diverted to the Arts and Sciences undergraduate programs which have suffered major budget cuts this year? I would be more than happy to know that my extra money could contribute to the saving of the Centre for Ethics, the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, and the Centre for Comparative Literature?It is, however, my choice to do what I want with my life. It should thus be my choice to pay $1000 in fees to Athletic centre or not. This should not be forced upon me, nor should it be forced upon any U of T student, especially those on restricted budgets.