A small rule included in Frosh 2019 by the student union representing those enrolled at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber, IGNITE, has now set a precedent for future events.
Enclosed in the terms and conditions for eligibility for receiving a “paint party kit” from IGNITE is that the student will have had to remain opted into the $22 “events and opportunities” fee.
Though a minor stipulation amid a larger event, it marks the first time IGNITE will have exclusive offers for those that remain financially supportive, setting a precedent for the future.
Student unions across the province have wrestled with the issue of allowing students who opt-out into events that they are not supporting via fees. Even though students will pay $20 a ticket for Frosh, it is a highly subsidized prize from what the full cost normally is.
The typical cost is offset by IGNITE. Most of the student union’s events throughout the year come at no direct cost to the individual student, but are instead paid for out of an average $11 million budget acquired via student fees that are now optional due to a mandate from the provincial government.
As IGNITE and its provincial counterparts navigate this new reality for the student unions, executives across Ontario will have to make the decision whether to exclude or not, and if that is in moderation or not.
IGNITE could have taken the choice to exclude all those that did not pay the events fee from Frosh. However, they took a small step, potentially giving us a glimpse at their future strategy for handling the opt-out.
Executive Director Ercole Perrone told The Avro Post earlier this summer that Frosh 2019 is safe from a financial standpoint because they have reserve funds and money from the budget established a fiscal year prior.
Its also not clear if by then all the numbers will be available by then on who decided to stay opted in versus who opted out. Options can be changed for the fall semester until Sept. 16 and Frosh is only five days after that date.
Only time will tell if the exclusivity for those that opt-in will ramp up or remain a minor impact. Much of this decision will likely be based on the results of the Student Choice Initiative come September.