Proposals suggest raising student activity fee

By Matt James

The President’s Fee Study Committee might discuss today two proposals to raise the NIU student activity fee.

The committee, however, will not make any final decisions today on changing the activity fee.

According to one proposal, the activity fee would be increased to $12.12 for graduate students with 12 credit hours per semester. The proposal would mean an increase of $5.50, compared to the $6.72 that graduate students were charged this semester for the activity fee.

If accepted by the Board of Regents, the fee hike would create equal activity fee charges for graduate and law students.

The proposed increase is being reviewed by the Activity Fee Committee. Student Association Treasurer Diana Turowski said the increase would generate more than $30,600 for the SA’s general reserve funds and $8,943 in summer fees.

Turowski proposed the fee because she said she “could not find a rationale why law and graduate student fees differ” by $6.60 per semester. Undergraduate students were charged $17.15 for the fee this semester.

Another proposal would gradually increase undergraduate, graduate and law student activity fees at different levels during the next three years, and these fees would eventually be equal, she said.

Turowski said the SA “could be operating at a six figure deficit if we don’t change the (activity) fee soon.” She attributed the need for an activity fee increase to the 13-year time span since the last increase.

She also mentioned NIU’s decreasing enrollment as the reason for a possible activity fee increase. If fewer students attend NIU, fee-generated revenue will decrease.

“Raising fees is like raising taxes,” Turowski said. “No one’s in favor of the increase unless there’s a definite need for an increase shown.”