Students will benefit from numerous fee reductions this fall
July 31, 2020 at 11:00 am
Full-time undergraduate students, through a contract ratified by referendum, pay an annual fee for their twelve-month HSR bus pass. As classes move online specifically for the fall semester, most undergraduate students will not be living in Hamilton in September and will be unable to use their bus pass. As such, the MSU has negotiated two important changes. First, Hamilton City Council has agreed to the MSU’s request to temporarily suspend the student bus pass contract for the period of September through December 2020. Second, the HSR has agreed to provide a credit back to students for the lack of HSR service between April and June of 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students will save over $100, as the scheduled bus pass fee of $223.92 will not be charged in fall. Instead, a fee of $120.98 will appear on student accounts in January 2021, reflecting the cost of the remaining eight months of HSR service for undergraduate students. Moreover, recognizing that some students may still live and/or work in Hamilton, the MSU is strongly advocating to the HSR to secure discounted monthly transit rates for McMaster students. Since students will not have a bus pass until January 2021, the MSU has sent a delegation to City Hall asking for McMaster students to be able to take advantage of discount pricing in the interim. Elementary and secondary school students can access both daily fares and monthly passes at reduced rates. The MSU has asked that post-secondary students be given the same opportunity, until the bus pass is reinstated in January.
The 2021 bus pass voucher code will appear on Mosaic in the middle of December. The voucher code can be added to a Presto account and bus service will begin on January 1, 2021. Students need to tap-on to any bus within 45 days of activating their voucher code, to register their HSR bus pass. For a video tutorial of adding a voucher code, as well as more information about the student bus pass, please visit www.msumcmaster.ca/hsr.
“After extensive negotiations with HSR and the City of Hamilton to address students’ financial concerns regarding the bus pass, I am pleased that the MSU will be able to save students a considerable amount of money this fall,” said Jess Anderson, Vice President (Finance). “In addition, having looked closely at specific operations, the MSU will reduce several other fees for students.”
The MSU Organization Fee is paid annually by all full-time, undergraduate students and is used to operate more than two dozen student services, the Clubs structure, the governance apparatus, and MSU advocacy work. Recognizing the shift to an online learning format in first semester, the MSU will reduce its operating fee by 10%. In addition, the Vice President (Finance) will re-evaluate service operations on an ongoing basis; should second semester remain online, there may be the potential to provide further reimbursements to students.
Further, the MSU has reduced the ancillary fees for both the McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) and CFMU FM 93.3, by 15% each. In total, the MSU will provide a savings of $121.65 to all full-time undergraduate students.
In addition to reducing many of its own fees, the MSU has asked the University to reduce any fee for services that are unavailable to students for the fall semester. Specifically, the MSU expects to see a 19% reduction to the Welcome Week fee that is charged to all first-year students. Also, the MSU continues to have discussions with the University to ensure the Athletics and Recreation Fee is significantly reduced to reflect the lack of in-person services available for the fall semester.
For more information, please contact:
Vice President (Finance)