Fee hikes need committee OK

Pam Schmidt

Beginning next semester, students might have to pay an additional $8.40 in fees if a recommendation, passed by the Revenue Bond Review Committee Dec. 18, is approved.

The increased fees will help pay off a $300,000 bond used to purchase, repair and maintain the Recreation Center and a bond of about $1 million needed to repair both the Chick Evans Field House and Huskie Stadium.

Current fee rates are $18 per semester for the rec center and $19.44 per semester for the fieldhouse and stadium combined. If passed, next semester the rec center bond fee would be raised to $25.20 and the fieldhouse/stadium bond fee would be raised to $20.64.

“Any fee is too much that is used only to cover a debt and not to increase service,” said Student Association President Jim Fischer. “We’re in a situation where our hands are tied. We have to remove the debt.”

Last semester, Alicia Cosky, the rec center’s acting director, said the rec center would be forced to limit hours during the semesters and to close completely during all breaks unless the fee proposal was passed.

Although William Herrmann, director for Revenue Bond Operations, originally proposed an increase of $1 per credit hour for the rec center, the committee agreed on a recommended increase of 60 cents.

errmann said he thought the recommendation was “reasonable.” “I would have liked to see it paid off quicker, but I’m satisfied.”

Pat Hewitt, assistant to the vice president of finance and planning, said, “The more we pay now, the quicker we can resolve the problem, but it is a student-presented proposal and it mirrors the plan we were working for in Finance and Planning.”

The recommendations are scheduled to be reviewed by the President’s Fee Study Committee, although no date has yet been approved.

The committee will consist of five students, including: Jim Fischer, SA Speaker of the Senate Karen Seymour, SA Treasurer Lisa Schlepp, an undergraduate student and a graduate student. Nominations are now being taken by the senate and appointments to this committee will be decided upon later this month.

The faculty appointments for the committee have not yet been chosen. NIU President LaTourette was unavailable for comment.