Hardship fund requires receipts, could take weeks

Published On November 24, 2017 | By Jacob Phillips | College Strike, Features, Humber Strike, IGNITE, News

A panel of Humber and Guelph-Humber administration answered questions from students regarding the strike. (Tyson Lautenschlager)

By: Tyson Lautenschlager and Olivia Morris

Students hoping to take advantage of a $500 hardship fund as a result of the college faculty strike learned they will have to provide documentation and could wait weeks before receiving payment.

IGNITE’s president Maja Jocson hosted a panel with key administration member that included questions about refunds, the $500 hardship fund and adjustments to the academic calendar.

The Ontario government mandated a maximum $500 strike fund be distributed to eligible students. The fund goes towards unexpected expenses incurred over the strike such as childcare, parking and rent.

“The student strike relief fund will open up this afternoon. Students will receive an email about the fund late this afternoon,” Barbara Riach, Humber’s registrar said.

“You’ll access it through MyHumber, part of the student system. It is an online application,” she said. “Students will be required to submit documentation; receipts, to support their request for reimbursement for strike-related costs. Those receipts will need to be emailed in addition to your application.”

Riach also said the strike fund won’t be released until December 5, and it could take up to two to three weeks to receive the money.

For students receiving funds from OSAP, the money they get if they were to drop out will go directly back to the student loan centre.

“If you’re receiving a refund and your tuition was paid by OSAP, those funds need to be returned to OSAP,” said Riach. “They’ll be returned to the National Student Loan Centre on your behalf.”


Refunds come with catch

Students considering dropping out of their programs and coming back in the winter risk the chance of not being admitted for the next academic year.

“Don’t forget you’re competing with students coming in as freshmen,” said Alvina Cassiani, Dean of the Business School.

“There are some instances where we have ongoing enrollment, such as in the business school. If you drop, you may come in the winter and the registrar’s office to see which programs are still available,” she said.

The strike resulted in both the fall and winter semesters being condensed from 15 weeks to 13 weeks each. Humber’s Dean of Students Jen McMillen said the college “considered a whole host of options.”

“What we really were driven by was using a set of guided principles which were focused around what would support students best and what would allow faculty to revise their outlines,” she said.

“We also wanted to think about what was the impact of people who had travel booked or for students to have breaks.”

School administration decided removing the winter reading week would allow students to still have their two-week holiday break in December.

“Some schools are going back on [January 2]. We evaluated that and decided we did not want to call students and faculty back on [January 2].”

McMillen said they still wanted to maintain the two-week break for students, so classes will resume on January 8.

Students still considering withdrawing from their program can do so until December 5 and still get a full tuition refund.

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