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U of C revokes all Engineering Students’ Society memberships

By Jason Herring, September 19 2018 —

The University of Calgary is no longer collecting fees on behalf of the Engineering Students’ Society (ESS), effectively revoking all engineering students’ membership in the organization.

Since a 2006 student vote, engineering students have paid $10 per semester as part of their tuition fees towards membership in the ESS. On Sept. 19, U of C vice-provost student experience Susan Barker sent an email to all undergraduate engineering students announcing that those $10 fees have been reimbursed to students as credit on their student accounts.

Barker’s email says that the change came as a result of a university practice review but does not indicate what prompted the review or whether other student groups on campus are affected.

“We recently reviewed our university practice of collecting mandatory fees on behalf of student societies,” the email read. “We have determined it is not appropriate for the university to be collecting fees on behalf of an individual student society, including the Engineering Students’ Society and will no longer be doing so.”

Earlier in the day, ESS president Jiani Deng also sent a mass email to undergraduate engineering students.

“We regret to inform you that effective immediately, the University of Calgary is revoking ESS memberships for all engineering students,” Deng wrote.

Deng’s email says that the fee makes up a “significant portion” of ESS’s income and that ESS programming including professional and social events, graduation gifts and subsidies for engineering competitions and conference fees will be affected by the U of C’s decision. She adds that the ESS is designing an alternative method of collecting membership fees.

In her email to students, Barker notes that the Schulich School of Engineering plans to help the ESS through this change.

“We appreciate that this is a significant change and may present challenges for ESS,” Barker said. “The Schulich School of Engineering has made a commitment to work with ESS to ease the transition this year.”

This is a developing story. The Gauntlet will update this story as we learn more.

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