The UTM Campus Affairs Committee convened last Wednesday to discuss proposed fee raises for parking costs on campus.

Last semester, a new two-level parking deck opened in front of the Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre.

In a presentation given by Paul Donoghue, UTM’s chief administrative officer, the increase in parking fees will be used to pay off the loan on the new parking deck.

According to the meeting’s agenda, “the cost of the parking deck has been paid for by the ancillary via its construction reserve of $3.0M and a loan from the UTM operating budget of $6.97M.”

Present at the meeting was UTMSU’s president, Nour Alideeb, who opposed an increase of the fees and voted in favour of hiring a working group to try and find alternative solutions for students.

Donoghue stated, however, that there are currently four working groups across the campus that were consulted in the decision to raise fees, and said that no alternative course was reached.

Before the meeting concluded, Alideeb presented the committee members with the main goals of the student union.

UTMSU plans this year to focus on expanding the Student Centre. Alideeb said that the space of the centre is currently functioning at maximum capacity, and working toward an expansion is needed and expected to resume later this semester.

Students had previously rejected an expansion in the 2013-2014 academic year, because, according to Alideeb, the $25 fee increase for students was deemed too high.

Alideeb also stated that the UTMSU recently renegotiated with MiWay Transit to reduce UPass interest fees from nine percent to seven percent over the next several years.

She also discussed the numerous campaigns that UTMSU endorses, such as the Fight the Fees campaign, and the bursaries they offer to students in financial strain.

The next Campus Affairs meeting is scheduled to take place in February, and will be presented with more information regarding fee increases for food and residence, as well as a final vote to decide on the overall service fee raises.

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