November 18, 2018

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Tuition, transportation top of students minds

The main top topic of conversation among the U of M's student body Thursday focussed on tuition and transportation.</p>

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The main top topic of conversation among the U of M's student body Thursday focussed on tuition and transportation.

Tuition and transportation were the top topics of conversation Thursday on the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus.

It was just the second day of classes for the 2018-19 academic year – and many U of M students said they were unaware of Wednesday's announcement and apology to students made by president David Barnard, after he revealed three faculty members are being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I haven't heard about that, but if I were to see it, it would cause concern. Right now, I'm not too sure what to think about it," said first-year science student Swikar Pokhrel, 18, who plans to study pharmacy.

"For me, personally, I just moved to the community from Regina, so I'm just trying to get used to Winnipeg."

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Tuition and transportation were the top topics of conversation Thursday on the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus.

It was just the second day of classes for the 2018-19 academic year – and many U of M students said they were unaware of Wednesday's announcement and apology to students made by president David Barnard, after he revealed three faculty members are being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct.

"I haven't heard about that, but if I were to see it, it would cause concern. Right now, I'm not too sure what to think about it," said first-year science student Swikar Pokhrel, 18, who plans to study pharmacy.

"For me, personally, I just moved to the community from Regina, so I'm just trying to get used to Winnipeg."

Amanda Targosz, a third-year business student, said she has felt safe on campus during her previous two years of study, but tuition was weighing heavily on her mind.

"It's pretty tough because I do pay for my tuition as I go, so as soon as it starts go up, it becomes more and more of a burden on you," said Targosz, 21. "I work during the semester while I'm in school, so the biggest thing is just how expensive it is."

Tuition at the U of M costs $4,700 for a first-year student, and can rise depending on the program. There are mandatory payments on top of tuition, such as the U-pass bus fee of $269 per year and the $168 sport and recreation fee. Books and supplies can cost another $2,000.

"My tuition went up $400-500 this year. I noticed that when I registered for the semester and I wasn't expecting that, so that's a bit of a worry for me" – Grace Idowu, 29

Anyone having big chats about Blake Wheeler signing with the Winnipeg Jets for US$8.25 million per season?

Students struggling to pay tuition couldn't wrap their minds around earnings of that magnitude, nor consider shelling out hundreds of dollars for tickets to an NHL game.

"My tuition went up $400, 500 this year. I noticed that when I registered for the semester and I wasn't expecting that, so that's a bit of a worry for me," said Grace Idowu, 29, who is working toward a PhD in chemistry. "Also, I have a lot of deadlines, and I can't afford recreation."

What about analyzing how Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols appears to be lacking mobility?

First-year agriculture student Shea Raeside said her own mobility is her biggest concern, right now.

"We don't have buses. I live out in Sage Creek and we don't have actual buses that go from Sage Creek to here (U of M), so I have to drive out to a park-and-ride and then bus. So it's kind of a hassle. And I'm paying for gas on top of the fee for the bus," said Raeside, 18, referring to the U-pass.

Raeside, who plans to be a veterinarian, said the U of M is doing a good job letting students know where they can go for help if they feel unsafe in class or on campus, struggle with mental health or have other concerns.

"Pretty much every single class, they've mentioned the resource, where you can go if you're needing stuff like that. They've been directing us to student services and that they have specific counsellors for all of that," she said.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Ashley Prest

Ashley Prest
Reporter

Ashley works the general assignment beat.

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