Seventy-three per cent of fee goes to salaries

BY DEEANNA ROLLINS

A student priority fee of $40 per semester was introduced in 2004 to help with Student Life programming. Now, in 2016, this fee has risen to $49.45 per semester. Although the increase isn’t large, the fact that 73 per cent of that fee goes toward payroll and salaries for all of the people working in Student Life is of a concern.

In the upcoming school year, those salaries will weigh in at just under $1 million. This includes the salary of the Student Life manager at $78,486, and the co-ordinator, four programmers, three career advisers, six summer intern students and 18 potential part-time students in the fall. The part-time pay alone will be equal to approximately $129,160.

Mike Dinning, Conestoga’s vice-president of student affairs, defended these numbers at the March 23 Conestoga Student’s Inc. (CSI) board meeting, saying that Student Life “needs good staff to have good programming.”

Dinning also updated the CSI board on how much money was spent – $1.4 million – on renovations in the last school year. This includes $42,000 on the ATS engineering complex, $29,000 on the Woodworking Centre, $14,000 on multiple different Student Life rooms and $10,000 on reupholstering furniture. This money came from a surplus leftover from the 2015/2016 school year and was written into the budget.

Students also pay a technology enhancement fee of $133 per semester.

According to the college’s website, “This fee assists in offsetting the cost of providing students with up-to-date computer equipment, software and services.”

Approximately 23 per cent of this fee goes toward IT services and their staff. It is also meant to pay for equipment, including the 616 new computers, 75 new 27-inch monitors, 18 upgraded printers and ONE Card access portals, and 112 new digital video projectors that were bought this school year.

In other business, CSI board members discussed a money request from the Library Resource Centre (LRC) so they can buy new technology for students. With the $3,000 request being approved, the LRC will be purchasing new laptops, power cables, chargers, remotes, clickers, and portable laptop and cellphone chargers.

The LRC also requested $1,600 from CSI for promotional material to advertise their tech tutors. However, this request was turned down. Instead, CSI said the LRC should be getting money from Student Affairs.

The library will also be looking at hiring 12 more tech tutors; some for the summer and some for the fall semester and will be looking for funding from the International Office and Student Affairs.
These students will be from all different programs, including international students. Tech tutors work in the LRC and help students who have questions about anything technology related. This program was introduced to help the front desk of the LRC from being overwhelmed.

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Spoke Online is produced weekly during the school year by Conestoga College second-year journalism print students, faculty adviser Christina Jonas and new media technologist Michael Toll.