Feb 282012
Authors: Sarah Fenton

The Student Fee Review Board met Monday to hear a proposal from the Adult Learners and Veterans Services Office regarding a $5.89 fee increase for the 2013 fiscal year.

The board spent more than an hour and 40 minutes discussing the fee and its possibilities in order to “cushion this blow to students,” SFRB Chair Rachel Roberson said.

“The big thing is: Is it a need for today?” she added. “I don’t think we could make the argument that this is something that wouldn’t help, but is it something that they need immediately?”

The increase would fund new staffing for the ALVS office, including 15 student hourly positions and two graduate assistants.

For board member and ALVS liaison Andrew Cole, the increase is essential to ALVS success.

“The ALVS office did come to the board with a hefty fee increase compared to the other offices, but in reality, this fee is what it (ALVS) needs to survive,” Cole said.

In the past, the ALVS office has been sustained by grant programs and a student fee of $2.91, however, this past year the grant money ran out, and the office has not yet applied for additional grants.

While SFRB is currently in the initial stages of gauging student response to the proposal, Vice Chair Wendy Bowling said she does not expect the issue to be decided quickly. Typically it takes a week before SFRB approves a new fee.

And this year Bowling said the board is looking at each fee with increased scrutiny. Because of this, SFRB asked ALVS to take the next week to break the proposal down by priority.

“We want to see what it looks like broken down. We are looking at if they are able to accommodate a phased approach, if they can implement the changes they want over a longer period of time to maintain a healthy budget,” Roberson said.

This, according to Bowling, is something the board has been recommending to all fee-funded areas as they organize their proposals.

SFRB members said the ALVS office fee is something they will heavily debate among themselves.
“This will be one of the hardest decisions we will have to make this semester. They are one of our smallest fee areas,” Olson said, adding that SFRB is currently soliciting a student voice about the fee.

“We need to get a lot of feedback because right now, it’s a little bit mind-boggling. It is going to be an extraneous process.”

To continue this process, Wendy Bowling will be hosting a discussion about this latest proposal to the fee package on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Senate Chambers.

“We do actually care what others have to say and feel. It is students’ money, and they should have a say,” Cole said.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Sarah Fenton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

By the numbers
Adult Learners and Veteran Services Fees
Fee for fiscal year 2012: $2.91
Fee increase proposal for fiscal year 2013: $5.89

Adult Learners and Veteran Services stats
2,700 student population
65-75 people who utilize common ALVS area per day

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