Regents approve refundable $1 fee

By Dina Paluzzi

SPRINGFIELD – NIU students will be asked to pay a $1 refundable fee beginning in the 1989 fall semester in an effort to help stengthen the Illinois Student Association.

The Board of Regents approved the fee without discussion at their meeting in Springfield yesterday.

Students will be abe to get their refunds only during the fall semester. After all of the fees have been collected and the refunds have been made, the ISA will receive the money.

ISA Executive Director Dave Starrett said the ISA attempts to network Illinois college students and inform the students about issues which affect them. Although it is not one of their primary functions, the ISA members in Springfield also lobby for student issues.

Regents originally questioned the fee withheld a vote on the issue at the May board meeting. Chairman of the finance and facilities committee Milton McCLure, said the ISA needed to define the legal structure of the organization, form an advisory group and insure NIU student input.

In response to one of the board’s requests, Starrett outlined a proposal for a nine-member advisory board which could meet quarterly or at least twice a year.

NIU Student Associaion President Paula Radtke said she has pushed for the passing of the fee for more than a year. “When I ran for office I said I’d do it (get the fee passed.)”

She said students need a lobbying force in Springfield and the approval of the ISA fee is a step towards achieving that lobbying voice.

In the committee meeting Wednesday, several Regents and the NIU and Illinois State University student Regents favored the fee. Sangomon State Univesity Student Regent Brian Hopkins was the sole opponent of the fee.

Hopkins said he still opposed the fee even after the Regents’ formal approval yesterday. “I still have some serious doubts,” he said. “But I have to be optimistic. I hope the ISA gives every NIU student (their) money’s worth.”

A review of the fee will be conducted annually. The review will be based on an SA reommendation to the Presient’s Fee Study Committee. The committee then will make a recommendation to President John LaTourette to retain or abolish the fee.

opkins said that because of the review process, the ISA will have to perform adequately or risk losing financial support of NIU students.