SGA Senate Discusses Increases to Tuition, Student Activity Fee in Meeting

A proposed increase in the student activity fee would give more funds to student organizations like Program Board, who put it towards events like Capital Fest. Pictured here is Capital Fest 2014, featuring Walk the Moon.

By Abby Anderko

On Monday, April 9th, the Student Government Association Senate met for its ninth meeting of the year. On the meeting agenda, the senate passed two new resolutions, one regarding limiting tuition increases and the other regarding an increase in the undergraduate student activity fee.

Before reviewing the resolutions, SGA Vice President Jonathan Weiss invited Treasurer Sam Galvin to the podium to speak on the treasury bylaws and the state of the treasury. Galvin first gave an overview of the Treasury Board and what it does for the student organizations on campus. Then, he proceeded to explain the updates to Article III of the bylaws.

Article III covers annual allocations of funds to student organizations such as Campus Ministry and club sports, who receive an annual budget rather than have to request project-by-project funding. Article III was amended to now include Program Board on the list of annual allocations, meaning that rather than having to apply for funding for every event it puts on throughout the year, it will have the money to budget for all its events throughout the academic year such as Mistletoe Ball, Founders Day Ball, and Build-a-Bae. Article III also established a rollover account for Program Board, for biannual events such as Capital Fest or other big projects.

The first resolution to be presented to the Senate, Resolution 017, was proposed by sophomore Nicholas Spinelli of the School of Business and it covers the rising costs of tuition at the university. This resolution was previously brought to the senators in their prior meeting on March 26th and was sent to committee to be revised. Spinelli proposed that the university not cap its tuition, but rather limit it. The rise in tuition for the next academic school year marks the third increase in three years of more than 3%.

As the representative body of the students, Spinelli proposed that it requests that the university limit tuition increases to no more than 2.5% per academic year, as “it is financially irresponsible to finance the future of the university through the students today.”

Questions arose, specifically from Aaron Mackisey of the School of Music, about the timing of the bill.

“Do you think that the university going to be open to the idea to the limitation?” asked Mackisey. “It isn’t feasible that when the university is going through an academic renewal and budget cutting that they would go for something like this.”

Spinelli replied that he does believe that the university will approve as it needs to be aware of “not financing mistakes through the students today.” This resolution passed with total senate approval.

The second resolution, Resolution 019, was proposed by Cavan Hagerty of the School of Arts and Sciences. Hagerty proposed the concept of raising the student activity fee from its current $120 per year to $128. The goal of the increase is to support student organizations for more funding opportunities and financial stability. This is an increase of $8 and would be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year. The senate also voted that this increase will remain fixed at $128 for four years, and when that time expires, they will vote on a fee that they “deem proper”.

Due to the meeting going over allotted time, the senators voted to table Resolution 018 until their next meeting in order to give it proper time to be debated. Resolution 018 is in regard to safe and efficient traffic flow throughout campus.

Last meeting, the senate approved Raquel Garcia to fill the gap in the School of Social Work. This meeting, to join Garcia, freshman Melissa Zentz was nominated and approved to fill the vacancy in the School of Philosophy. Both senators are excited to be involved, and are actively participating in the senate, Zentz in the academic committee “to achieve academic reform in the entry levels of philosophy”, and Garcia on a new resolution to be covered at the next SGA meeting to be held on Monday April 23rd.

 

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