Extra fees should be optional

While NIU provides extracurricular activities for students to enhance their experiences, it should make paying some fees optional.

NIU President Doug Baker announced a proposal to make athletics and fine art fees optional for students at an Oct. 29 Faculty Senate meeting. This proposal should be enacted. Students should be allowed the option to pay these fees based on their judgment, rather than being regularly billed every semester.

Some students — especially if they spend the majority of their time studying in the library, working or commuting — do not have the opportunities or the desire to use the athletics and fine arts resources they’re billed for.

If automatic billing is removed and students want to attend football games, they can order tickets through their MyNIU accounts; if students want to use the Recreation Center, they can purchase a membership. Students should have the option to purchase the resources they want individually.

NIU already allows some services to be opted out of. Every semester, Health Services offers insurance plans to the students who need it, though students can apply to opt out. By opting out of a service they don’t need, students save money to spend on necessary expenses, such as books and tuition.

If the administration wants to teach students critical reasoning skills then it needs to provide students the free will to choose the resources they want and are willing to pay for.