$100k built up in DSU’s unused accessibility fund

What to do with years of accumulated levy dollars

(Photo: Ian Froese)

Dalhousie’s student union has more than $100,000 of student money that it’s not sure what to do with. It’s sitting in the DSU’s accessibility fund, money gathered from annual student levies to improve accessibility on campus.

It’s been years since the fund was spent in full. The accumulated total—$1.75 from each full-time student each year and $1.00 from each part-time student—is piling up.

Vice-President of Internal Ramz Aziz says the fund was “mismanaged” in previous years.

It’s meant for bursaries and physical accessibility upgrades. But DSU President Sagar Jha says few students apply for the bursaries.

Vice-President of Finance and Operations Josh Cooke says right now “we’re trying to figure out what kind of future the levy has.”

He acknowledges lack of advertisement could be why people aren’t taking advantage of the fund.

As far as physical upgrades go, the DSU used the accessibility fund to buy a $10,000 table in 2010. This year’s execs are unsure of where that table is now.

Ten thousand dollars is only slightly more than a third of the $28,000 Cooke estimates the fund brings in during the fall and winter semesters.

This year the DSU used a full year’s funding to create an equity and accessibility office. There are talks about keeping the office running next year too.

Jha says cutting the levy altogether isn’t on the discussion table.




One thought on “$100k built up in DSU’s unused accessibility fund

  1. I am a student with a disability who left Dal because of harassment by professors who said I was making excuses when I tried to explain how my disability affected writing exams for several hours. I’m at Saint Mary’s now, what a difference in how students with disabilities are treated. I can’t say enough good things about Saint Mary’s.

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