On October 08, 2019, the Students’ Union presented student priorities for the coming year to the TRU Budget Committee.
Representatives from the Students’ Union presented the Student Budget Consultation Report 2020/21 to inform the committee that recommends the university’s annual budget. The report reflects feedback from hundreds of students across the campus through both a comprehensive survey and a Town Hall to investigate key areas in depth. It is the result of an annual Student Budget Consultation process created in partnership between the Students’ Union and TRU in 2014. This process provides for proactive and meaningful consideration of students’ interests as part of the annual budgeting and planning throughout the university.
Following presentation to the Budget Committee, the Report was distributed throughout TRU for consideration by the campus community. Below are the highlights.
The Good News
The Student Budget Consultation not only identifies students’ priorities for future improvement, but also recognizes and celebrates the ways in which TRU excels, improves, and responds to the needs of students. The following areas are congratulated on this good work:
The Priorities for Improvement
The Student Budget Consultation Report 2020/21 also identifies five priorities for improvement: parking, food services, study space, course materials, and course offerings.
On parking, students continue to grapple with the challenges presented by campus construction and the Sustainable Parking Framework. They want more available spaces and ways to find them. Students think that parking spaces can be better managed. They want parking pricing to better reflect issues of affordability, fairness, and value. Students want alternative transportation options to more widely viable while recognizing the limitations of TRU-Kamloops as a commuter campus. This includes working with the City to better connect campus by transit, cycling, and walking as well as improving transportation services like carpooling. A new concern has developed regarding campus walkability and pedestrian safety.
On food services, students continue to seek improvements in variety, options, and dietary accommodations as well as price, value, and quality. These are raised in the context of suggestions for food service operations including increased hours of operation, improved locations and spaces, more diverse food providers, and expanded amenities. These, in turn, are evaluated in terms of their support of campus life. The recent food service consultation provides direction and recommendations that may address these issues.
On study space, students want enough space that is dedicated and managed, particularly for quiet study. They also want better designed study space with appropriate amenities, such as comfortable and functional furniture, electrical outlets, accessible technologies, and food preparation areas. Finally, students continue to identify problems with cleanliness and maintenance.
On course materials, students continue a clear and urgent call for affordability. Textbook prices are out of control, and students want TRU to build on its work to tackle the problem so far. They want both the university and individual instructors to continue to pursue and support open educational resources and other low and no cost materials as well as a Library textbook reserve program. They also want more effective use and reuse of course materials. Finally, students are concerned with the increasing use and cost of private, third-party learning platforms such as Top Hat and Pearson.
On course offerings, students highlighted gaps in established programs as well as gaps in and demand for new or expanded programs. Overall, they want a greater focus on career development in the curriculum. They also want improved course delivery in terms of frequency, scheduling, and cancellations and changes to facilitate timely paths to graduation. Finally, students identified a need to improve course registration in terms of information, user-friendly processes, and waitlists.
In the coming months, the Students’ Union will work with decision-makers across TRU to determine how the university can best respond to these priorities. As these decisions are made, they will be published on the Student Budget Consultation webpage. Stay tuned!
For more information:
University Governance Coordinator