The Student Choice Initiative and Student Fees

Hey Econ Students! This year, when you go to pay your tuition fees, you will notice that there will be some changes to how you can continue to support and engage in campus life.

1 - What are the changes?

The Student Choice Initiative creates provincially mandated guidelines for universities to follow in administering fees to students. This initiative mandates some fees administered by the University of Ottawa Students Union (UOSU) to be optional, and some to be mandatory.

These are fees that University of Ottawa students have voted into existence through referenda, recognizing the need for the services that student governments, like the Economics Students Association (ESA) and UOSU, provide. The existence of these fees have allowed campus life to thrive and meet the changing needs of uOttawa students.

2 - What will be affected?

While the majority of fees administered by the UOSU will be deemed mandatory, two very important levies have been deemed optional

The first is the student life fee. The student life fee of $23 (for Full time students), covers Recognized Student Governments (like the ESA), Clubs, UOSU Social events, 101-week, the Racialized and Indigenous Student Experience Centre, the Multi-Faith Centre, the International House, and much more.

The other fee that has been deemed optional is the financial aid fee. This year, the entirety of the financial aid fee will be going towards our Student Refugee Program, which funds the first year of studies for six refugees at the University of Ottawa.

Without proper funding, these services will not be able to provide the same levels of programming and community that have supported students from various backgrounds for generations on this campus.

3 - How will your Student Association be affected?

The ESA will also be impacted by this change. The vast majority of our funding comes from Student Life fees and we will not be able to operate our social, academic or professional development events without this funding.

The ESA has been representing students for more than 25 years, and over that time we have built many traditions that continue to this day. The annual New York City trip, Econ Week, 101 Week, and the Wine and Cheese are all made possible through the Student Life Fees. We want to continue to build on these traditions to make them the best they can be. Social events, Academic speaker series, Networking events and the annual traditions mentioned above are all part of what the ESA has to offer this year.

But we aren’t done yet. This year, we want to bring back the events you know while continuing to grow our association to better meet the needs of students and making the association more accessible and inclusive. We want to continue to represent students to the Department and Faculty, push for more student representation and better collaboration between the students and faculty, and to work to make the student experience at uOttawa the best it can be!

The ESA will only be able to provide this programming if we, the students, continue to pay our student fees.

4 - Why does this affect you?

How our student body reacts to these changes will greatly impact the campus services that shape student life at uOttawa. A loss to any of the services impacted by these changes would represent a great loss to be felt across our campus community at large.

Continuing to support these services builds our campus community and ensures that you, and all students, are able to make the most of your university experience.

With any questions regarding the changes, services impacted, or how you can mobilize to promote student services, please contact