Apr 182012
Authors: Allison Sylte

Members of the Associated Students of CSU were able to attend their weekly post-senate CB and Potts “caucus” earlier than usual Wednesday night, after the first official reading of next year’s student fee package made its way to committee with little debate among student senators.

In a presentation headed by Student Fee Review Board Chair and ASCSU Vice President Rachel Roberson, senators were educated about the fee package that SFRB has honed in recent months, which includes a more than 100 percent fee increase for the Adult Learners and Veteran’s Services Office and a $8.09 increase for the CSU Health Network.

Roberson, and SFRB Vice Chair and ASCSU Director of Finance Wendy Bowling, said they were satisfied with the fee increases ultimately agreed upon by SFRB.

“I’m very confident that SFRB did its due diligence,” Roberson said. “We did in fact scrutinize every penny of the package… to ensure that students really get bang for their buck.”

During a question and answer session, some senators expressed reservations about certain fee increases, with the brunt of questions being directed at the Adult Learners and Veteran’s Services office, which reduced its initial request for a $5.02 fee increase to $3.69 partially in light of some of this scrutiny.

This decrease, according to SFRB and ALVS Board Member Steve Johnson, can mainly be attributed to alternative sources of funding that the office has recently found to support some of its programs, which include a proposal to create a daycare center for nontraditional students to use while studying at the library.

“This is a population that’s going to have a more difficult time than others adjusting to student life,” Johnson said.

Another point of discussion was the $4 Rams Against Interpersonal Violence, RAIV, fee, which was instituted by last year’s ASCSU administration to offer services to CSU students who were victims of sexual assault.

SFRB rejected a proposed $0.13 increase for the fee area, according to Roberson, citing the fact that RAIV did not manage to fill all of its available positions this academic year. However, Bowling said she believes RAIV has fulfilled its purpose this year, therefore warranting its continued $4 cost.

“Next year is really going to be where the analysis is going to begin with SFRB where RAIV is concerned,” Roberson said.

“We decided this year wasn’t the year to say no,” Bowling added.

During the discussion and debate portion of the Long Bill discussion, only Natural Sciences Senator Andy Shank vocally expressed his reservations.

“I’m concerned about the Harthsorn Health Center increase,” Shank said. “The Rec Center, which is adding new positions, is only increasing by… 2.3 percent… while Hartshorn is asking for 5.3 percent… and not adding any. That’s pretty substantial.”

ASCSU’s committees will further scrutinize the Long Bill before next Wednesday’s senate meeting, which will mark its second read and first of two votes.

While this week’s meeting was not characterized by a good deal of debate, according to Johnson, this is not out of the ordinary.

“Next week, things will start to get crazy,” he said.

Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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