Volume 93, Issue 28

Wednesday, October 20, 1999


Dalhousie student union bans preacher

Stadium levy concerns students

McGill study reveals kids get lost on information highway

Extending rights may increase confusion


Buzz Mecca

Caught on Campus

Stadium levy concerns students

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Students at the University of Toronto are seeing red after being told they may have to shell out millions to help cover the cost of the new Varsity Stadium.

The university's administration is currently meeting with student groups to discuss a potential $15 levy to student fees to help subsidize the $9.6 million cost of a new athletic stadium.

"It's still in the early stages, but we're exploring the possibility of Varsity Stadium, a $10 million stadium, being funded a third by the university and two-thirds by students," said Ian Orchard, vice-provost of students at U of T.

Orchard explained the $15 is only a rough estimate of how much the actual levy would be, as plans to build the stadium now include surrounding the area with more student housing.

He also said he felt the Students' Administrative Council and the Graduate Student Union were happy to be brought into the discussions right away.

However, GSU President Paul Tsang, said this was not the case. The GSU is of the view that students should not pay for capital costs, he said, adding if the university wants to develop the project, then administration should fund it themselves.

SAC vice-president Paul Kutasi agreed with Tsang. "Right now we're upset that the university wants to charge the levy unilaterally." He explained administration wants to tack the proposed levy to the cost of tuition without a student referendum. "We're lobbying administration," Kutasi said. "We'd like to see a referendum attached to the [SAC] spring elections. It's the best way to get the levy removed."

While the proposed increase is still in the early stages of discussion, there was some discrepancy as to the actual figure being proposed. Tsang said he was aware the levy would be $25 a year for 35 years.

"The levy has not been really priced out yet," Orchard said. "The cost of the levy would depend on mortgage rates." He added, in a worst case scenario, if the referendum was not approved by the students, then perhaps the new stadium will not be built. "The university does not have other funding," Orchard said, explaining why administration is proposing footing only one-third of the bill.

Fourth-year U of T political science and history student Ryan Dollimore said although $15 did not seem like much and he would probably vote "yes" in a referendum, he did understand the argument against wanting students to pay two-thirds of the cost.

"For one thing, there are about 10,000 students at affiliated colleges at Erindale and Scarborough who would not be using the facility on a regular basis," Dollimore said.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999