SA board undecided on enhanced technology fee

College is asking enhanced technology fee increase by $31 in 2016 to support Student Computing Strategy

George Brown is adding access points to increase wireless accessibility Photo Illustration: Sam Bullis/The Dialog

George Brown wants to increase the Enhanced Technology Fee to improve IT infrastructure such as Wi Fi at the college.  Photo Illustration: Sam Bullis/The Dialog

A proposal from the college to continue the increase for the Enhanced Technology Fee by $31 in 2016-2017 as part of their Student Computing Strategy was discussed by the Student Association’s (SA) board of directors on April 16.

According to documents provided to the SA board by the college, the Enhanced Technology Fee would increase by 20 per cent each year for three years until it reaches a rate of $189, which is the median rate for colleges in the Toronto area. Once George Brown’s technology fee was brought up to the median, further increases would be capped at inflation plus five per cent.

Currently the Technology Fee for George Brown is set at $132, while students pay $180 at Centennial, $186 at Humber, $220 at Seneca and $250 at Sheridan.

In addition to increasing bandwidth and access points for Wi Fi, which currently peaks at 19,000 connections a day, the plan would also see a campus-wide electrification/recharge plan; upgrade the printing system with mobile printing capability; develop new web and mobile apps; give instructors the ability to record lectures; and expand video streaming services.

The SA board voted to table the decision to the next board meeting, which has not yet been set.

“We haven’t seen the numbers, we need to see the transparency,” said Jatinder Maan, the SA’s director of education and equity.

“This is entirely in your hands, if you don’t change the fee we don’t lose our jobs, it has no impact on us at all,” said Gerard Hayes, the college’s director of student experience. “Paul (Ruppert, GBC’s chief information officer) is the expert recommending what you need as the student body to provide good service. There’s no pressure, it’s transparent, we will tell you everything you need to know about it, there’s no secrets.”

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SA board undecided on enhanced technology fee