Student fees to increase by 11.3 percent next year

Emily Vavra

The Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) and ASCSU Senate approved the student fee package for the 2015-2016 school year, resulting in a fee increase of $114.42 for full time, on-campus students taking 15 or more credits.

Full-time students will pay a total of $1,128.74 in student fees, an 11.3 percent increase from last year.

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A majority of these fees are the result of mandatory fee increases, which are outside of the SFRB scope of authority, according to ASCSU Vice President Lance Li Puma. Mandatory fee increases are used to pay for increasing costs of utilities or maintaining current service levels. The state-mandated 2 percent increase will go to salary and fringe benefits for university employees.

The $86.25 increase to the University facility fee will go toward building a new Biology building and an extension on the Warner building. This fee was approved by the previous year’s SFRB, but was not implemented this year because construction has not started yet, according to senior SFRB member Andrew Bondi.

Taking this into account, the current SFRB approved a $28.17 increase, up 3.7 percent from last year, Li Puma said.

New resource requests from Student Services accounted for $4.80 of the increases.

The SFRB hears proposals from different groups on campus and determines how the money would be best used.

The interpersonal violence response and safety fee through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center will use their portion of fees to promote the “Reframe” campaign, which aims to change the conversation around sexual assault.

Adult Learners and Veteran Services and the Career Center will each provide half of the salary for a career counselor specifically for student veterans. According to Bondi, the veteran population on campus is larger than that of some other colleges.

The Career Center is also reconstructing its current services to create industry clusters that will help students find jobs in certain industries that relate to their majors and interests.

The University Center for the Arts requested an increase to help pay for production materials and supplies. Upon suggestion from the SFRB, a portion of their fee will also go to providing free student tickets to all UCA events, similar to the free tickets to athletic events.

“These increases are just a guarantee that students can have the same level of service for their extracurriculars that they’ve deemed necessary in the past,” Li Puma said.

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CSU student Nolan Rookey, a junior health and exercise major, said he thinks that overall, the fee increases will be beneficial to students.

“Seeing how much I’m paying right now for school, (the increase) doesn’t even make a difference at this point,” Rookey said.

The SFRB is comprised of CSU students and is separate from ASCSU. Any student interested in having a direct impact on student fees can apply to join the Board.

“(The SFRB) really does need to thrive on students coming and wanting to share their voice and time,” Li Puma said. “I challenge the student population to go out and get involved with the Student Fee Review Board somehow.”

Collegian Reporter Emily Vavra can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @vivalavavra.