May 012012
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Students paid about $345 in general fees five years ago. Today, that number is $622 and next year it will be larger. Exactly how much larger depends partially on whether Adult Learner and Veteran Services, Off-Campus Life and the University Center for the Arts are successful in their bids to increase the fee amount students pay to them.

Each organization’s proposal has been approved by the Student Fee Review Board and now moves to the Associated Students of CSU Senate for its own inspection. The group will determine whether to approve some and amend others, which will weigh heavily on CSU President Tony Frank’s decision to present the proposals to the Board of Governors for final consideration.

In emails to the Collegian, they explain why charging more in student fees is a good idea.

Adult Learner and Veteran Services

Each full-time CSU student currently pays $2.91 to the center. Its director, Jan Rastall, is hoping to increase the fee to $6.60.

“45,000 troops are coming home in the near future. Student veterans are enrolling in college to obtain degrees to launch their new careers. We have been responding to this 10 percent yearly increase in student veterans with the student fee we’ve had since 2009,” she said. “It is no longer adequate to sustain the office.”

By charging students an extra $3.69 each, ALVS would bring in approximately $83,000 in additional revenue. The money would be used to increase their staff, improve student career services and create a drop-in supervised children’s activity area for students using the Morgan Library called Ram Kidz Village.

“We need to be positioned to respond to the continued increase in our student population to ensure they have the highest quality experience possible and we remain a leader in the state for supporting our student veterans,” Rastall said. “A student parent working group conducted a survey in 2008 to determine the needs of our student parents. Not surprising, childcare was the top issue.”

Off-Campus Life

Becky Ewing, ASCSU director of RamRide, said that the $0.64 increase –– or additional $14,352 –– would fund the mandatory salary increases of OCL staff and continuing the office’s party registration program.

If the fee increase proposal isn’t approved, “CSU students will lose a very unique opportunity –– a one-of-a-kind program not available to students across the country –– to take advantage of a program that not only helps them avoid up to a $1,000 noise fine but also a criminal record, which could seriously impact future employment and university sanctions,” said Jeanie Ortega, director of OCL.

Party registration is a service offered to CSU students and Fort Collins community members that is designed to warn its users when their event is getting too loud, before police officers issue noise citations to the hosts.

To register a party, individuals must visit OCL, inform its staff when the date of the event is, how many people are expected to attend and leave two phone numbers where they can be reached and the address where the festivities will take place.

The office then turns over its information to Fort Collins Police Service emergency dispatchers. FCPS calls a registered party if a complaint has been lodged against them.

University Center for the Arts

Walton Jones, the director of CSU Theatre & Dance, said that the proposed $0.73 increase would go toward, among other things, increasing student safety.

More than 500 students work in the UCA’s production shop as a lab components to many classes.

“In the past few years, there have been reported many accidents in scene shops –– some gruesome –– across the country,” Jones said. “All could have been avoided if the equipment was regularly checked out and parts changed out.”

Only one shop staff member is a 12-month employee and has the capacity to take care of the equipment during the summer. The fee increase would allow for all shop staffers to have year-round contracts, which Jones said would lessen the likelihood of a CSU student becoming injured while using the facilities.

The additional $16,370 in revenue could also offset the increased costs of production materials necessary to put on performances.

“The cost of production materials –– lumber, steel, hardware, paint, etc. –– have more than doubled (because of) natural disasters over the past decade,” Jones said. “If costs of construction increase in commercial construction, so do ours.”

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

What are some areas asking for a student fee increase?

Adult Learner and Veteran Services
Current fee: $2.91
Proposed fee: $6.60
Increase: $3.69

Off-Campus Life
Current fee: $3.72
Proposed fee: $4.36
Increase: $0.64

University Center for the Arts
Current fee: $9.12
Proposed fee: $9.85
Increase: $0.73

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