After last year’s referendum on funding the JDUC Project came up short, we asked students why they voted the way they did and how we could improve the project to better meet their aspirations. We were thrilled to hear feedback from thousands of students in response.
You told us that the fee was too high at the (then-proposed) rate of $89. You also told us that it wasn’t fair to ask you to contribute to a building you wouldn’t even get to use. We listened to those concerns and went back to the drawing board.
By utilizing the financial remedies available to us, we were able to negotiate a lower fee for students.
We are proud to present the results of this work.
By seeking out efficiencies and adjusting the repayment period to 25-years, we have sought to lower the student fee as much as possible for as long as possible. We believe that these payment terms ensure that today’s students are being asked to contribute a fair amount.
The proposed JDUC Redevelopment fee will be collected at a rate of $40 per academic year beginning in 2019-2020. Beginning in the third year of fee collection, 2021-2022 – when construction is scheduled to be finished, the JDUC Redevelopment fee will be collected at a rate of $73.92, and will increase at the most recent annual rate of inflation for each subsequent year.
We feel that it’s crucial for the JDUC Project to include financial aid in the form of a bursary fund to help students in need. The AMS has committed $500,000 to this fund and asked Queen’s to match this commitment by identifying the bursary as a priority for advancement fundraising.
It’s important that the costs of investing in our future don’t fall on those who can least afford them. This bursary could cover the JDUC Redevelopment fee for 500-1,000 students per year. It would be integrated with other forms of financial aid and bursaries and would not require a separate application.
Queen’s University administration has stepped up to contribute their fair share to the project. Graduate students will be contributing a substantial amount to the project as well. The only remaining hurdle to getting the JDUC redevelopment off the ground is a funding commitment from undergraduates.
dollars of cash contribution and advancement donations from the University.
dollars of financing support from the University.
dollars from members of the Society of Graduate and Professional Studies.
dollars from members of the Alma Mater Society over the course of the project.
All values above are shown as a net present value.
Why should there be a student fee?
The Student Life Centre (the JDUC and Queen’s Centre) is a partnership between the University, AMS, and SGPS. All three partners fund its operations, based on a formula that takes into account the amount of space that each partner occupies. Examples of current space use by different partners include the Student Experience Office (University), the SGPS offices, and Tricolour Outlet (AMS).
In order to serve undergraduate students better than ever and enhance the services they love and rely on, the AMS has prioritized student space every step of the way. In negotiating a new proposed student fee, we have balanced the need to keep the cost as low as possible with the expectation that undergraduates will benefit from most of the spaces created.
The JDUC Project, as currently proposed, will be a transformative investment in student life. If we get this right, it will serve student needs for decades to come. But if the referendum is once again unsuccessful, the University will withdraw the vast majority of their funding pledge and the opportunity for a new student centre will be lost for generations. The graduate student commitment will also be nullified. In this worst-case scenario, some renovations would eventually occur in the JDUC. But this work (like replacing the heating and ventilation system) would provide no added benefit for student life.