Student Fee Review Board approves three fee increases, expects rising mandatory costs

Charlotte Lang

The Student Fee Review Board approved fee increase proposals for the Health Network’s Counseling Services, the Student Resolution Center and Lory Student Center early Monday evening.

Following the meeting, Kevin Sullivan, vice president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University, reflected on fee increases in the semester ahead, anticipating rising mandatory costs.

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This semester’s mostly seeing minimum wage.”

Kevin Sullivan, ASCSU vice president

The first approved proposal was the Counseling Services’ fee for a $3.90 increase. This fee is expected to cover both mandatory costs and salaries and benefits in the Health Network’s Counseling Services.

Last month, Ann Hudgens, executive director for the CSU Health Network, and Lori Lynn, associate executive director, said the increase for counseling costs would help the Health Network remain competitive in stabilizing and maintaining its current counselors. Hudgens said this is intended to allow counseling services to meet student demand.

Kevin Sullivan, vice president of ASCSU, said that another approved proposal was the Lory Student Center’s fee increase of $5.34. This was another mandatory increase in order to keep up with minimum wage.

“This semester’s mostly seeing minimum wage,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said another approval made at the meeting was for the Student Resolution Center’s proposed increase of 18 cents, taking the total fee up to $7.52.

“That one was pretty interesting,” Sullivan said. “People were ready to say no to the salary for the Center. It’s technically mandatory fees, and it’s recommended to say yes to mandatory fees.”

Student conduct and student resolution are separate areas, meaning that the student resolution’s area is student fee-funded. Sullivan said the two areas have the same director, so the question was how separated they really are.

“You had people saying they don’t see the benefit,” Sullivan said. “And then other people said that, no, they have seen a few benefits. It was a really interesting discussion.”

Looking to the semester ahead, Sullivan anticipates more mandatory fees.

Ram Events’ Student President, Shefali Kovoor, presented the group’s proposal for a six-cent increase during Monday’s meeting to pay for student salaries as the state minimum wage goes up.

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Sullivan said that Ram Events was the only presenter for this week’s meeting and due to the fee being a mandatory cost, there was little discussion on the presentation.

Typically, fee proposals fall into two categories of potential changes: mandatory costs or proposed increases.

Sullivan said mandatory costs cover necessary funding for operations such as facility maintenance increases and the rising minimum wage. Proposed increases can include new project and initiative costs or new personnel for the various organizations.

While speaking of proposals and approvals, Sullivan said there are a few interesting fee proposals that will play out in the coming semester.

For example, on April 1, Adult Learner and Veteran Services is expected to propose a $12.43 increase to help with renovations to upgrade their area due to increased numbers of visitors. Sullivan said this is a significant increase — it will almost triple their fee.

Another interesting possible fee change is the athletic’s fee going down, Sullivan said.

“They had bonds issued for Moby Arena that expire in 2019,” Sullivan said. “They might come in and propose to keep their fee where it’s at, but we can say no. We can have them put it down.”

The next meeting for SFRB will hear proposals from Campus Recreation and Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement.

Campus Recreation’s fee increase would be $3.50. SLiCE will be asking for an increase of 52 cents.

According to materials sent to the board, both organizations are asking for mandatory increases.

Charlotte Lang can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chartrickwrites.