Representatives of the student body review tuition and fee requests
The Tuition and Fees Advisory Board, made up of student leaders, met last week to discuss and vote on proposed budget suggestions for the 2017-18 academic years.
The meeting was moderated by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Arthur Jackson and President of the Student Body Fahn Darkor. Members of the public were allowed to sit-in as well.
During the first meeting held on Nov. 16 in the Harris Alumni Center, representatives from each department requesting fee increases were allowed to propose their plan for how they would use the money. Then, they answered any questions the students had.
The meeting went from 4 to 6:15 p.m.
The second meeting was held Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. and lasted until 8 p.m. During this session, the board voted on the proposed fees. They could vote either yes or no to the pay increases, or they could suggest alternate plans.
The meeting started with a vote for a two percent tuition increase for resident undergraduates. This increase would only apply to incoming resident freshmen and transfer students who come during the 2018 academic year. The majority, 9 out of 10 committee members, approved the proposed plan. The recommendation will be taken to the Chancellor.
Intercollegiate Athletics received a recommended $22 increase, $2 less than their asking price. Their current fee is $802. Athletics had asked to receive a half time sport psychologists, which they argued would be beneficial for student athletes. Athletics had planned to split the cost with Students Health Services, who would have the psychologist for half of the time in the counseling center. Students discussed whether they’d rather see the psychologist in the counseling center full time and voted that Student Health Service raise their proposed increase from $7 to $9, so that the counseling center would not have to share the psychologist with athletics.
The recommended $22 increase for athletics will fund travel support and help the start up of new women’s sports, specifically a women’s golf team.
The Student Health Services fee increase will add three full time psychologist to the counseling center. They also said they needed an increase in order to maintain the new counseling center. The current Student Health Services fee is $229.
Education and Technology received a unanimous decisions to accept their proposed increase of $50. The committee members agreed that the money was needed to replace technology across campus that was quickly becoming outdated. The current Education and Technology fee is $552.
Recreational Services currently has a fee of $83, but was approved for a $2 increase that would pay for the new position of an Aquatics Coordinator, a position that will be dedicated to the maintenance of the pools on campus including those opening with the Health and Wellness Center.
The Health and Wellness Center received their recommended $10 fee increase. This increases had been planned as part of a series of increases until 2021. Without the increase, plans for the building would have to be canceled. Currently, the fee is $5 but the fee is planned to be raised to $65 by the time of it’s opening in the fall of 2019.
The Student Union has not received an increase since its opening in 2009. They asked for a $9 increase in order to hire an Associate Director for the Multicultural Resource Center and an Assistant Director for the Center of Leadership Development.
Infrastructure Debt fee was approved for their $39 proposed increase to the current $200 fee.
Some groups requested no increases, such as Playing Field Maintenance, Student Activity Center and Venue Management, Cone University Center, and Student Activity Fees Commission.
There were also two special fees, which are fees that only certain students are required to pay.
The first was for students in the College of Health and Human Service. This is a new fee would cost students in that college $260. The fee would cover the cost of teaching assistants, two lab technicians, field placement services, test and test prep fees and other resources that the college needs. The fee was approved with 10 out of 10.
International Student Fee is also a special fee which was recommended to be doubled, from $50 per semester to $100 per semester. They plan to put the money towards more workshops, orientations and other events that help students manage culture shock and welcome them in the community.