On January 17, 2019, Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (“MTCU”) announced the “first ever province-wide tuition reduction.” Within that announcement, the MTCU also announced a new protocol known as the Student Choice Initiative (“SCI”). The purpose of the SCI is to “… ensure students have transparency and freedom of choice regarding the campus services and organizations which get access to their money.”
The protocol states that only certain fees can be considered mandatory fees and unfortunately, several fees which were previously mandatory are now considered optional. This includes the SGPS society fee. This means that for the first time in the history of the organization, students who are assessed the SGPS society fee can opt out of it, effectively choosing whether or not they want to remain a member of the SGPS.
The SGPS is proud to supply our members with a new and fantastic Health and Dental plan; event insurance for our faculty/departmental societies; a robust bursaries and grants program; social events; health and wellness initiatives; access to peer support services including the Peer Academic Advisor Program (formerly known as the Student Advisor Program); as well as representation and advocacy for our members across the University.
The SCI has already made a serious impact on the SGPS as we prepare for the potential loss of funds used to run events, fund our grants and bursaries, and provide services. We have had to make some very hard decisions in order to ensure that the SGPS can survive these changes. While these decisions have been very difficult to make, our focus has always been and will remain on protecting our member-driven services and ensuring that we maintain our active advocacy and resources for SGPS members on campus.
The SGPS has existed since 1963 when it was just a club under the AMS. Although we have grown and changed, our dedication to the personal and professional success of our members remains constant. We hope that you will continue to remain a member of the SGPS and we look forward to serving and advocating for you for many years to come.
Jeremy Ambraska, President
Abel Hazon, VP Finance and Services
Leo Erlikhman, VP Graduate
Ryan Adlem, VP Professional