Some students are still struggling with the financial burden COVID-19 has put on them, according to Gurjinder Singh Lehal, University of Regina Students' Union (URSU) president.
Lehal himself is an international student, so he pays thousands of dollars more tuition than a domestic student. He and other international students he knows couldn't apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and couldn't necessarily get summer jobs this year, an income he said a lot of people rely on during the school year.
Lehal said the union is trying to do their part to ease that financial strain, but it's hard. They do what they can with events like their URSU Cares Pantry, which functions like a food bank, and a small bursary students can apply for.
"Everybody is predicting more mental health problems for the next year," he said Tuesday on CBC Radio's The Morning Edition.
"It will surely be adding to it more because of more pressure on the studies and you do isolation with online classes so it's really difficult."
In the past, Lehal said he could rely on his family for help with tuition. But his family is affected by COVID-19 too.
"It's hard when everywhere, the problem is [the] same," he said.
Lehal said he hopes whoever is in government at the end of the month prioritizes students and helping them recover. He called for more funding from the province for university students, and for the federal government to extend their federal loan repayment freeze, which ended Oct. 1.
"Students are the future of tomorrow right? Throwing everything on the students, they have to manage everything," he said.