Feb 192012
Authors: Sarah Fenton

After receiving the Off-Campus Life budget proposal this Monday, the Student Fee Review Board has launched a week-long investigation that will gauge how much students would support a fee increase.

The increase breaks down into three specific goals and would take the $3.72 fee up to a $5.26 fee per student per semester. Among other things, the fee would pay for staffing and the party registration program.

While this is only a small part of the SFRB budget package for the 2013 fiscal year, Wendy Bowling, vice chair of the board, expects fee increases across the board once the other 14 fee funded areas turn in their proposals.

Bowling presented the fee increase during the ASCSU Senate meeting Wednesday night in an attempt to initiate a greater amount of student involvement within the week-long research process.

While the responses were mixed throughout the 27-minute debate that ensued, the time allotted for the presentation ended with an unofficial vote.

By a showing of hands, 10 senators expressed support for the fee increase and four senators expressed opposition to it while the rest remained neutral.

Among those who opposed the fee increase was Liberal Arts Senator Jack Harries who said his hesitation was due to his resistance to over-burden students with unnecessary fees.

“On general principle, I am pretty much against fee increases because I feel like students are paying enough to go to college,” Harries said. “With tuition increases and now we are going to pay every faculty member an extra 3 percent I think extra fees on top are too much for students to handle right now.”

Although ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg expressed support for the programs the fee increase
would fund, in a formal debate for the executive office last April, Berlinberg stated that for him and running mate Rachel Roberson, not raising student fees throughout his administration would be a priority.

“I believe they are truly beneficial for the student body,” said Berlinberg, who also said he had been involved in SFRB’s budget proposals for some time now.

For Bowling, gauging student input on this possible fee increase is a delicate process because according to her, the budget package last year was not as student-supported as it should have been.

According to the report, 42 cents would be allotted for funding the mandatory 3 percent salary increase for all CSU employees. Ninety cents would go toward hiring a new program coordinator who would alleviate problems in community outreach and planning within the Off-Campus Life Office. The remaining 21 cents would go toward the year-round party registration program.
The program thus far has received support from various sources including students, and has reportedly decreased problems that come before Conflict Resolution.

Although party registration has been running on an ASCSU sponsored grant, in the next fiscal year Off Campus Life will be responsible for funding the program because the grant money from ASCSU may not be available.

The fee increase will be decided in next Monday’s SFRB meeting. The SFRB budget package for the 2013 fiscal year will go through a three-step process which includes going before ASCSU senate, CSU administration and the Board of Governors.

ASCSU beat reporter Sarah Fenton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

*By the Numbers
Breakdown of the possible student fee increase.*
Current Off-Campus Life student fee: $3.72
Fee increase: $1.54
Future fee with increase: $5.26

Where The Money Goes
91 cents to go to new Off-Campus Life program coordinator
21 cents to go to funding the year-round party registration program
42 cents to go to funding the mandatory 3 percent salary increase
Off-Campus Life General Information*
Puts on 120 events annually
Impacts nearly 9000 students

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