Taking their time
By Sabrina Carinci
With the arrival of final tuition fee bills, some Western students were not only slapped with significant tuition hikes, but a short deadline for fee payments as well.
The late deregulation decisions made by the provincial government, followed by the consequent late calculation of the university budget were key reasons for why things were set back, said Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council.
Iozzo said although students who collect money from the Ontario Student Assistant Program are automatically given about a month leeway, the USC still received complaints from first-year students and their parents.
"I felt bad," Iozzo said. "The last thing [first-year students] need is to worry about losing their courses because of an unpaid fee bill."
Iozzo also mentioned the office of the registrar would most likely not delete an entire students' schedule for missing a payment deadline by only one day.
Robert Tiffin, deputy registrar at Western, said the tuition fee bills were produced early in August and were not due until the end of that month. Sufficient timing was given for tuition fee bill payments.
"This year's fee payment due dates were the same as last year's," Tiffin said, adding there should have been no surprises, especially considering the deadlines were printed in the registration handbook last May.
Jessica Miller, a second-year kinesiology student at Western was very dissatisfied with the office of the registrar and felt the timing of the due dates was unfair. "[My parents and I] were nervous about it. I was worried I wouldn't get into my classes," she said. "I think I had four days to pay it."
Tiffin agreed that although late decisions made by the provincial government regarding deregulation may have played a slight role in delaying the university politics, that delay was nothing major. "Final fees were made in June when the Board met," he said.
"Since deregulation was decided late, everything else was decided late," said David Small, VP-finance for the USC. "[The university] knew it was going to be late and accommodations should have been made there's blame on both sides."
Tiffin explained the most time-consuming part of preparing the fee bills is the actual matching together of paperwork, as each of the documents received in the package are printed off separately, matched and then mailed.
"I got mine with plenty of time to pay it off it was about two weeks before the due date," said David Hoy, a third-year psychology student at Western. Hoy added he was more displeased with the tuition hike than he was with the timing in which the fee bills were received and due.