U of T students shell out $30 million for Pan Am sports complex
Students at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus have perplexed people city-wide by agreeing to help pay for a new athletics facility on their campus—one that would probably have been built for the upcoming Pan Am Games anyway. To be fair, it’s likely the students will be most perplexed, considering that only a small number of them (2,300 out of 10,273) bothered to cast a ballot in last week’s referendum. The vote gave the thumbs-up to a levy that will see the students contributing $30 million over 25 years toward a state-of-the-art athletics complex that will be a major part of the 2015 Games. (No word on how state-of-the-art it’ll be after 25 years, but no matter.) The rest of the bill will be footed by the university and the federal, provincial and municipal governments.
Joeita Gupta, vice-president of the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students, told the Star that the students were led to believe that without the levy, the new facility would not be built. She says her group received word from the mayor’s office and the local councillor that a “no” vote on the referendum would not have halted the facility’s production. “People lost track of the fact that this building would have been built even if students voted no,” she said.
By 2014, when the new athletics centre is slated to open, full-time students will contribute $140 per semester as part of their student fee package. By our calculations, that’s the equivalent of nearly 19 days’ worth of food for those on OSAP.
• U of T students vote in favour of levy for Pan Am aquatic facility [Toronto Star]
• U of T students approve levy to build athletic complex [Globe and Mail]
• Pan Am pool approved for U of T campus [CBC]