URSU putting Spring/Summer 2023 dollars back into student wallets
On November 9, University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) released a video on their social media platforms asking that students who paid twice for the student U-Pass bus pass in the Spring/Summer 2023 semester (once for the Spring and again for the Summer) apply for a reimbursement.
Tejas Patel, URSU president, claims in the video that the students who had to pay more than the amount that was charged in the previous years will get reimbursed an amount of $112 which is equal to the amount paid for one of the semesters in 2023. “We have got your fee back for the Spring/Summer Bus Pass 2023.” he said.
A number of university students in Regina do not own any private means of transportation, and as a result they rely on public transit services offered by the city as their primary means of transportation. Constant cab fares are not an economically viable option, so although not always the most convenient, bus services are one of the only ways to get around the city for a lot of students, especially international students. URSU offers students enrolled at the University of Regina a lower rate on bus fares in comparison to city transit.
The fares for students enrolled in classes are included in the tuition fee for the respective semester. There are options to opt-out of bus fare fees but most students choose not to opt-out as the fee charged for unlimited rides throughout the semester is a lot less than that charged by city transit. On comparison, Regina transit charges $88 dollars for a 31-day pass while students enrolled in classes have to pay $87.60 (as of Fall 2023) for an entire semester, a four-month period.
However, things change in the Spring and Summer semesters as both of these semesters last for only two months each. Student enrolment also goes down as a large number of students take a break from classes to work full-time during the summer and to be able to pay for their tuition in the following Fall and Winter semesters. A lot of international students go back to their home countries or to other provinces to visit their family and friends further adding to the drop in enrolment. Many students who are not enrolled in classes during these semesters but who remain in Regina still rely on their student bus pass to travel around the city.
Prior to 2023, URSU offered a similar rate to students not enrolled in classes for the entire Spring/Summer semesters at $87.60 for May through August. However, in 2023, URSU charged $100, exclusive of taxes, for each separate Spring and Summer semester. Much to their dismay, students who had no other option but to pay for the bus pass had to pay a lot more than they had anticipated.
After being in contact with city services, URSU has decided to reimburse an amount equal to the fee for one of the semesters. Students who paid for the Spring/Summer U-Pass can apply for the reimbursement through the link available at URSU’s website and on their social media pages. The forms must be filled out between November 13 and November 27.
The reimbursement will be provided via cheque starting December 4. Students will be able to collect their cheques from URSU’s front desk on the second floor of the Riddell Centre. It must also be noted that applications received after the November 27 deadline will not be eligible for reimbursement.