Memorial’s Board of Regents has approved the suspension of two student fees for the fall 2020 semester.
Memorial students will not be charged the Distance Education Administration Fee and Recreation Fee for the upcoming semester.
Two fees waived
The Distance Education Administration Fee is normally applied only to those taking fully online courses designed and supported by the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
Because teaching and learning of many normally in-person courses will continue in a remote and primarily online environment using a variety of different methods (depending on the unit, discipline and individual instructor), the fee is waived for the fall semester.
The Recreation Fee is normally applied to all students in programs on the St. John’s campus and provides students with access to The Works’ fitness facilities. As students will be completing their studies remotely in the fall, it is unreasonable to expect students to continue to pay this fee.
The Works is, however, planning to offer an optional Student Recreation Membership in the fall for all students who live nearby who wish to use the facilities. More details on this option will be shared as they become available.
The facility has reopened under provincial alert level 2 and is offering an optional student summer package for the rate of $35 + HST from now until the end of August. Full details on this package are available here.
All fees reviewed
While cancelling these fees will significantly affect the budgets of the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning and The Works, the university will be able to support financial loss with savings from the suspension of operations to support Memorial’s on-campus operations.
A working group was tasked with reviewing fees and coming up with possible scenarios for the fall. All mandatory fees were reviewed in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic and its ongoing impact on students and university operations.
The Campus Renewal Fee, Student Services Fee and Graduate Continuance Fee will continue. These fees help cover critical infrastructure and student services costs that continue to be incurred.
Although students are not studying on campus, remote learning places an increased burden on the university’s technological infrastructure and increases the risk of cyberattacks.
Eliminating the campus renewal fee at this time would significantly impair Memorial’s capacity to manage the transition to remote learning and constrain its ability to manage ongoing deferred maintenance challenges.
Student Services Fees
While many of the services funded by the Student Services Fee are normally delivered in person, most of these services have transitioned to remote delivery and in some cases require extra support and technological capacity.
Effectively meeting the needs of students is more vital than ever, and eliminating this fee would reduce funds available for essential student services.
Many graduate students are able and choosing to continue their studies. As a result, and consistent with other Canadian universities, Memorial will continue to charge the Graduate Continuance Fee.