SAMTB seeks fee hike

By Ken Goze

NIU’s Student Association Mass Transit Board, faced with a nearly $50,000 deficit and rising costs, wants a 56 cents per-credit hour busing fee increase.

Michelle Emmett, University Programming and Activities director, said the increase, from $58.08 to $71.52 per year for full-time students, is needed to bail the board out of debt and maintain present services.

“When the committee considers this fee, it should ask itself is this fee high enough?,” Emmett said during Monday’s meeting of NIU President John La Tourette’s Fee Study Committee.

Emmett said automatic annual $50,000 increases in the mass transit’s contract with American Transit Corporation—the company who owns the buses—have made yearly bus fee increases almost inevitable.

Busing Graduate Assistant Cyro Gazola said the board plans to reduce their deficit by combining Route 7 and 9 and running some buses for fewer hours.

When committee member Antonio Carrillo questioned the wisdom of starting new services such as the Late Nite Ride service with a deficit, Emmett said the board felt the service was essential.

“It’s something the mass transit board is committed to for safety,” Emmett said, adding students seem willing to pay for the added service.

In addition, Dana Mills, associate director for University Health Services, requested a 54-cent health fee increase to cover rising costs and a lack of reserve funds going into fiscal year 1991.

Health Services Director Rosemary Lane said the increase also is needed to cover the costs of the new state immunization law, which requires all incoming freshmen to show proof of vaccination for measles, mumps, rubella, tetnus, and diptheria.

A 6 percent salary increase might also be added under new Board of Regents guidelines.

The salary increase translates into a 21-cent hike, possibly pushing the fee as high as $4.23 per credit hour, or $101.52 per year for full-time students, Mills said.