Undergraduate student organizes petition, suggests solutions
The complicated process of opting out of Concordia’s fee levy groups has motivated a fourth-year undergraduate student in the computer science program to take action.
Raphael Stein started an online petition to bring attention to the difficult process and to propose a solution, saying it was about time someone tried to change it.
“The opt-out process is insane and clearly set up in a way to make it impractical to do so. To opt out of a club’s fees, a student must print out a few different pages from his student account, locate the club’s office, email or call them to make sure they will be there at that time, though some clubs promise to be in the office between certain hours, and then physically make their way over there and ask for their refund in person,” said Stein.
According to the fee levy groups’ website, as well as Concordia Student Union president Terry Wilkings, students do not need to print anything from their student account, but can instead present proof of how many credits they are taking to the fee levy groups by means of any portable device.
“Fee levy groups define a large part of the community at Concordia,” said Wilkings. “I encourage students to seek out and get involved with fee levy groups to enrich their university experience. For instance, the Centre for Gender Advocacy played a critical role in the campaign to push Concordia to create a sexual assault resource centre.”
According to the fee levy groups’ website, these groups are “student organizations and initiatives at Concordia University that are student-elected through the referendum process,” and “receive all or part of their operating budgets from a per-credit Concordia student fee levy.”
In setting up the petition, Stein listed possible solutions to ease the process for students, which include opting out online through MyConcordia and receiving the credit in your tuition statement. For the fall 2015 semester, the opt-out period for students runs between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. However, Stein said many students are not aware that this option is available to them.
“Despite having limited time in my day and limited resources, I started talking to students, university administration and fee levy groups themselves to press for a more realistic solution,” he said.
The petition can be found at concordiaoptout.wordpress.com.