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Students’ Union will vote to approve 2.2 per cent tuition increase

By Scott Strasser, November 13 2014 —

The Students’ Union will vote in favour of a 2.2 per cent tuition increase at a Board of Governors (BOG) meeting on December 12.

The BOG votes on tuition increases every December. Annual tuition increases are capped by the Consumer Price Index.

The CPI measures increases in prices due to inflation. Annual tuition increases in Alberta have been capped by CPI since 2006.

“Every year, the Alberta government tells institutions what their cap is for the consumer price index or inflation for that year, and that’s supposed to be the maximum they’re allowed to raise tuition by,” said SU president Jarett Henry.

Henry asked elected officials to give their feedback on how the SU should vote during Students’ Legislative Council on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The only elected official to vote against the tuition increase was arts representative Kalista Sherbaniuk.

“Given that the university is operating on a surplus, I feel it’s unnecessary to ask for more money from students, especially when accessibility is an issue,” Sherbaniuk said.

But Henry said it’s important to support the cap, calling it a reasonable way to help fund the university.

“We understand the costs of running a university increase year after year,” Henry said. “We think tying tuition to inflation is a reasonable compromise for students. Increases of one or two per cent per year are predictable.”

Henry said a 2.2 per cent increase is only slightly higher than usual.

In 2012, the SU voted in favour of a 2.15 per cent increase. In 2013, they voted in favour of a one per cent increase.

While they are in favour of the CPI cap, Henry said they will vote against market modifier proposals if the two votes are separate.

“We’ll be voting against the market modifier proposals because they’re not a predictable increase and don’t have the value for us equal to the cost,” Henry said. “The opportunity to introduce market modifiers circumvents the tuition cap.”

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