Mar 212011
 
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

The Student Fee Review Board passed a controversial sexual assault fee increase Monday evening that could cost students an extra $4 each year starting next fall.

The fee would go to the Office of Women’s Programs and Studies and passed with a vote of 12-2-1. The Associated Students of CSU President Cooper Anderson and Vice President Jennifer Babos said they are happy to see SFRB support the increase.

“I’m pretty happy it passed,” Anderson said. “It’s the result I was expecting all along.”

SFRB voted on a $4 increase for the fee but had they not passed that increase the body then would have voted on a $3.50 increase and then again on a $3 increase.

The ASCSU Senate will vote on the fee increase when it votes on the Long Bill, the proposed student fee increase package, on April 20, according to SFRB Chair and ASCSU Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Berlinberg.

Joe Eden, SFRB member and senator for the college of Liberal Arts, voted no on the increase because he doesn’t think the fee is an appropriate way for the executive duo to fulfill their campaign promise.

“There are other ways that they could approach it,” Eden said. “I think they went the easy way, which is to raise fees. They basically just wanted to increase the office (of Women’s Programs), and they wanted students to pay for it.”

ASCSU Senator for the College of Engineering Taylor Jackson cited similar reasons for opposing the fee increase, one of
which is that Anderson and Babos also promised students they wouldn’t raise fees.

“I think that’s the one that students care about more,” she said. “I don’t think they should be trying to raise fees even though raising sexual education was one of them (their campaign promises).”

SFRB member Nick Lederhos, who also sat on the board last year, disagreed, saying he thought the fee was student initiated and said the board “really scrutinized” it.

The proposed fee increase would raise $189,600 for the Office of Women’s Programs and Studies, approximately $153,278 of which would go to salaries, including to the hiring of 20 peer educators who would work six hours a week.

Anderson will present the Long Bill to the CSU System Board of Governors after hearing Senate’s recommendations. Some believe he will present the fee to the board regardless of whether or not Senate passes the increase.

Jackson thinks Anderson will take it to the board because of his loyalty to Babos and because SFRB usually carries more weight than Senate.

“That’s something that I still have to consider and is yet to be determined,” Anderson said when asked if he would take the fee to the BOG if Senate voted it down.

Anderson and Babos said in previous interviews with the Collegian that the fee was student-initiated and supported by students. But Eden and Jackson said the students they spoke to vehemently oppose the fee increase, primarily because of the tough economic recession.

“I talked to a lot of students,” Eden said. “I wanted to go out and talk to my constituents, and there was an almost overwhelming opposition to the fee increase, especially at a time like this.”

News Editor Jordyn Dahl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:02 pm

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