Star proposes a fee hike

By Ken Goze

The Northern Star requested a student fee increase Wednesday at the first meeting of President John La Tourette’s Fee Study Committee.

Star Faculty Adviser Jerry Thompson said the increase, from eight to twelve cents per hour, is needed to update equipment and help establish a three-part building fund. The proposed increase would bring the fee from $1.92 to $2.88 per year for full-time students.

The building fund will be used to move out of or renovate Campbell Hall, the Star’s home for nearly 10 years. The move is expected to cost about $1 million.

Thompson said Campbell Hall is overcrowded and deteriorating. In addition, the building is not in NIU’s plans for the area and eventually will be leveled.

“If we don’t move forward to do something, we’ll have to vacate this building and take whatever we can get,” Thompson said.

In addition to the fee increase, the Star will seek donations from alumni, friends and media organizations. Thompson said he also has approached NIU officials about the possibility of university assistance, such as land or possibly a matching grant.

Committee Chairman Anne Kaplan said the Star, the Law School and the Graduate Colloquium Fee were the only requests to be turned in to the committee by a mid-November deadline, but the process is running at an acceptable pace.

“We can’t consider all the requests at one time. I’m happy as long as enough requests are turned in to keep the process running,” she said.

The President’s Fee Study Committee is a board of students, faculty and administrators that meets each year to consider requests from fee-supported groups.

The committee serves an advisory role to La Tourette, who makes final recommendations to the Board of Regents in March. The fees are calculated on a credit-hour basis with all full-time students charged for 12 hours.