Various Manitoba post-secondary student fees in limbo with facilities shut down

As classes at Manitoba post-secondary institutions shift online, and most facilities such as gyms and labs remain closed for the foreseeable future, some students are wondering if they’re still on the hook for all the same fees.

“Our program, three days out of the week we’re in the lab hands-on, so to not have that is tough, but our teachers have just done an amazing job to transition everything to online,” says Dale DeMarco, a second-year medical lab sciences student at Red River College.

“It’s just the fees that I feel like aren’t being provided, shouldn’t have to be paid for.”

Specifically, DeMarco says he’s being asked to pay $333 for materials, $69 for his lab, and $21 for “rec”.

“For myself personally, it’s not so much about the numbers or the money, it’s more the principle of the thing.”

In an email response to Global News, a Red River College spokesperson says administrators are currently reviewing — program by program — what fees are being charged and whether or not they’re appropriate.

“We are currently looking at student fees, as many of them are program-specific, to determine if they are appropriate to support learning in an alternate delivery format, or if they need to be refunded,” the email reads in part.

“Areas where the College has already made changes to student fees include parking and our recreation fees, and we will continue to review these fees.”

On-campus classes at Red River College are currently suspended until at least the fall.

President of the Red River College Students’ Association, Yash Chopra, says many students have told him they’ve already received cheques refunding them for parking payments, however some concerns remain.

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