If you’re an undergraduate student at the University of Saskatchewan, you’re paying student fees, so it would probably be good to know if you’re getting all you can out of the exchange.
For a full time undergraduate, the student fees for the Fall 2015 term alone at the U of S are $526.79. While many of us are likely already aware that this money is leaving our pockets, we may not be as familiar with where this money is actually going and why we’re paying it.
For the most part, these fees are non-negotiable and non-refundable, so a look at how some of our money is being spent is useful for those of us who like to get the biggest bang for our buck.
First and foremost, the most expensive and probably most important costs are the $110.84 and $136.85 dental and health insurance fees, respectively. As previously hinted, students can opt out of these fees if they are already covered by other health and dental plans, but for those who aren’t, it provides a fairly widespread coverage along with a number of lesser known benefits.
Students under the health plan are partially covered for prescription drugs, corrective eye surgery, massage therapy and more. Apparently, they’re also fully covered for the care of a home nurse if deemed necessary. So, if you’re in the market for a home nurse, it could be something worth looking into.
The other cost which students can opt out of is the $78.39 transit fee, which provides students with a Universal Transit Pass for public transportation. Select groups of students are able to opt out of the pass on the grounds of geographical proximity, disabilities and other extenuating circumstances that might render the pass impractical. For those who can’t opt out, even infrequent bus riding will cover the cost of the U-Pass in no time.
Now, we get deeper and deeper into the quieter benefits our student fees provide for us. The $41.24 athletic fee entitles you to free admission at any Huskies event with your student card. What you might not know is that apart from our football team, we also have men’s and women’s teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer, ice hockey and more.
With a number of ball and/or puck-centered pastimes vying for your attention — and with adult admission prices at these events ranging from $10 to $27 per person — it’s not hard to get your money’s worth while also having a good excuse to go out for the night.
Similarly, most students — whether they take advantage of it or not — likely know that their $33.49 recreation fee entitles them to the use of the weight room at the Physical Activity Complex on campus. What they may not know however, is that the fee entitles them to so much more.
Your recreation fee gives you access to pools, squash courts and skating rinks on campus, while also giving students a monetary break on numerous “learn-to” classes in a wide array of subjects from hip-hop dancing to fencing to Scuba diving and even a rape aggression defence course.
Finally, stepping away from athletics, the U of S Students’ Union accounts for $39.54 of our fees. It’s the job of the USSU executive and the University Students’ Council to represent the interests and needs of students to the best of its abilities. If you’ve ever felt disinterested in campus governance, keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it.
Therefore, if you ever feel that your interests are going neglected or that there are issues that need to be raised, be sure to contact the corresponding member of the executive. The USC also meets weekly on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. in the Roy Romanow Student Council Chamber in Upper Place Riel.
It’s important for those whom the fees directly affect to know where their money’s going and how they can begin to see some of it back. Whether it’s swimming laps or taking a class in belly dancing, here’s to making the most of our student fees this year.