BOT to vote on fee increase

By Rasmieyh Abdelnabi

Student fees, which have already increased by 6.42 percent this year, may increase again when the Board of Trustees vote on a proposed 8.97 percent fee increase this morning.

During a Student Association Senate meeting in January, Senate speaker Andrew Nelms reported President John Peters requested the total increase be no more than 3 percent.

An undergraduate student taking 12 or more credit hours currently pays $669.12 in student fees per semester. A graduate student taking 12 or more credits pays $660.48. Student insurance is $233.70 for both undergraduate and graduate students. The BOT also will vote on a 23.6 percent increase in student insurance.

General student fees are divided into seven categories: activity fees, athletics, bond revenues, busing, health service, grants-in-aid and student-to-student grants.

The activity fee is for the SA Senate to allocate to certain student organizations, said Aaron Langguth, SA chief of staff. This fee is $38.76 for undergraduates and $16.56 for graduate students. The figures are based on a class load of 12 or more credit hours. The fee also maintains the Campus Recreation Center, Health Enhancement Services, Student Legal Assistance, Campus Child Care and the salaries of SA executive officers and employees.

The SA controls $1.3 million, about 16 percent of the total general fee. The SA also appoints people to committees that propose various changes on campus such as student fee increases or decreases.

The athletics fee supports 18 sports, seven of which are men’s and 11 of which are women’s at the NCAA Division I-A level. A great portion of the fee covers grants and scholarships for athletes, said Eddie Williams, executive vice president of business and finance and chief of operations.

Students are granted free access to all games on campus, he said.

“Students gain the benefit of the prestige of your university – the name of your university being projected and carried forward which occurs through the athletics program,” Williams said.

The bond revenue fee covers the maintenance of the Holmes Student Center, Campus Recreation Center, Chick Evans Field House, Huskie Stadium and the Convocation Center.

The bond revenues are similar to a mortgage, said Robert Albanese, associate vice president of Finance and Facilities. The university borrows this money for renovations and construction projects.

One project on the way is the renovation of the Grant complex, Williams said.

The busing fee is used to purchase two new buses every year to replace older buses. Thirteen buses are running at any given moment, Langguth said.

The health services fee goes toward maintaining University Health Services.

The grant-in-aid and student-to-student fees go toward scholarship funds. Both are a flat fee of $6.

The SA has recommended a 5 percent increase in the activity fee, which equals an increase of 16 cents per credit hour for undergraduates.

The minimum wage increase and cap on enrollment are the reasons for the increase, SA Treasurer DuJuan Smith said.

The university put a cap on enrollment because the resources are not matching student needs, director of admissions Robert Burk said.

“We want to make sure that we give the best education possible,” he said.