Happy New Year and welcome back to our beautiful campus. I would like to start by correcting a serious misconception made in this section of last week’s issue of The Medium. In last week’s issue it was stated that UTMSU did not aid Ms. Nengi Adoki in her attempts to challenge increasing residence fees [“Where do you go when representation fails you?”].
In Nengi’s case, her students’ union was involved as soon as she walked into our offices to communicate her frustration that she was forced to pay over $400 for a two-week stay on residence. Ms. Adoki’s frustration is understandable; domestic and international students are forced to pay rising residence fees and high tuition fees. Ms. Adoki raised the matter of adequate consultation, but most importantly the process that permits administrators to raise fees with little recourse for the students affected.
UTMSU provided advice to Ms. Nengi Adoki and advocated directly to the university regarding the concern of residence fees. I want to assure every student, if there is a matter that concerns you, your students’ union is here for you. You have my assurance that you will receive all the support that we can give. UTMSU belongs to all students, so it is up to all of us to make this students’ union better. Always remember that your students’ union is what you make it.
A campaign that has been driven by students like you is the Student Centre expansion. In 1999 the Student Centre was built for roughly 6,000 students. Currently, there are over 11,000 students enrolled at UTM, but the space has yet to be expanded to reflect the growth in student enrolment and demand.
The university and your students’ union have agreed to a project that will expand our Student Centre. This will be determined by your endorsement to contribute to $2 million that will be matched by the university to reach the $4-million goal. I am looking forward to meeting you in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more progressive changes at UTM.
President, UTM Students’ Union