At Tuesday night’s Student Fee Review Board meeting, a fee increase of $5.75 per credit hour was approved and the 2014-2015 school year fees package was finalized.
The set student fee for this fall will be $1014.32 per semester for a 15-credit student, a $104.75 increase from last year’s $909.57 per semester, pending final ASCSU approval tonight.
The $5.75 per credit hour fee proposed by The University Facility Fee Advisory Board to SFRB will now be forwarded to Tony Frank, who will submit it for approval to Board of Governors as part of his budget. Pending final approval, the fee increase will be implemented for the fall 2015 semester.
The fee increase, which for a 15-credit student amounts to an additional $86.25 per semester, will fund two major campus construction projects. Twenty four cents of the $5.75 fee increase will be allocated for a Natural Resources Auditorium, covering all of the $2.1 million required to pay for the Warner College of Natural Resources
addition after the college’s fundraising efforts. The remaining $5.51 will be allocated for 70 percent, or $57 million, of an $81.6 million new biology building.
The Warner College of Natural Resources Auditorium was approved by a vote of 14 to one with one abstention, and the new biology building was approved by a vote of 11 to three with one abstention.
During the meeting, SFRB members engaged in final discussion and debate regarding the fee increase before voting.
Nick Dannemiller, SFRB member and sophomore wildlife biology major, said that although the fee increase may be unpopular among current students, it is important to create a better CSU campus for the future.
“I think nobody really wants a fee increase, but it’s sort of this double-edged sword that in order to advance something, in order to make something better, you have to put something into it yourself,” Dannemiller said. “It could be really easy for us as a board if we said, ‘Let’s wait, let’s put this off, let’s hope that some board down the road will maybe have a clear conscience about voting one way or another’… (but) I want to make sure that CSU as a whole benefits, not just myself by earning a degree and going off an pursuing my career, but also that somehow I can give back to this university.”
Kwon Yearby, SFRB member and undeclared sophomore, was among several board members to oppose the fee increase and was instead in favor of denying the increase with the possibility of revisiting it in the future.
“Does a building really enhance your education? I hear a lot of people saying that — I would argue that it’s the teachers, I would argue that it’s the atmosphere, the community,” Yearby said. “I don’t think building new buildings with spaces and stuff really gets to the heart of the problem of enhancing the campus.”
Jan Nerger, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, attended the April 29 SFRB meeting. She acknowledged the difficulty of making budget decisions, but urged SFRB to vote in favor of the fee increase.
“I listened to Tony Frank (at the SFRB meeting) last week and he really strikes a balance between access and excellence, and if we want to continue to make this university well beyond the pictures in the Lory Student Center … we have to make the bold step to say, ‘I want to make this university the best university it can possibly be,’” Nerger said. “I think you should make that bold decision and I think you should say yes, and I’m really hoping that the Coloradoan comes out tomorrow morning, ‘Students Say Yes to Science,’— I would shudder to think if it said the reverse.”
Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at email@example.com.