GPSC votes on student fee increases

Graduate Professional Student Council voted on proposed student fee increases Tuesday night in Lawson Hall.

Only four fee increases were passed by the student body. Facilities maintenance, night transit, information technology and the Student Health Center fee increases we all approved.

Facilities maintenance passed with an increase of 2.7 percent, or $6, with 16 in favor, one against and one abstention. Night transit passed with an increase of 2.4 percent, or $1.08, with 15 in favor, two against and one abstention. The Student Health Center passed with an increase of 1.9 percent, or $4, with 14 in favor and four against. Information technology passed with an increase of 4.5 percent, or $3.60, with 13 in favor, three against and two abstentions.

The committee raised a discussion only when an increase for student insurance was brought up. Student Insurance would increase by 7.9% and would raise the fees by $32 a semester.

John Stewart, a member of the executive board said the student insurance proposal appears too often.

“It has appeared consistently and it doesn’t increase or decrease benefits,” he said.

“There’s either not enough people in or too many people are using it.”

The vote tied and was not passed because of two abstentions.

Other potential increases included athletics, student media and student housing.

Athletics had one in favor, 15 against and one abstention. The amount asked for was $9 a semester, a 2.9% increase.

The remaining fees were voted down including mass transit, student center and the student media fee.

Mass transit had five in favor, seven against and six abstentions. The amount asked for was a 5.2 percent increase, or $2.50 a semester.

The student center amount had one approval, 16 against and one abstention. The amount asked for was a 5.7 percent increase, or $8 per semester.

The student media amount had five in favor, nine against and four abstentions. The amount asked for was $9 per semester.

Daily Egyptian Editor-in-Chief Kayli Plotner was present to answer questions regarding the media fee but no questions and no debate.

“I was happy to see that some people voted for the fee. It shows there are students who want to see the DE reach it’s full potential,” Plotner said. “It’s just disappointing to see votes made on issues that people don’t fully understand. I wish there had been more of a discussion.”

Student housing is yet to be passed because of an undetermined dollar amount.

The GPSC was given an increase on the number of research awards for this year.

Chancellor Rita Chang approved 40 awards of $250 to further and support GPSC student research during the 2014 calendar year.

Blaine Tisdale, GPSC president said he is thankful for this opportunity.

“We are very thankful for this increase,” he said. “This gives us many opportunities.”

Awards can be used for travel, equipment and supplies. Applications for the award will be reviewed by an independent panel of graduate students. Final decisions will be made by a faculty member in the college of the applicant.

Adie Applegate can be reached at aapplegate@dailyegyptian, on Twitter @adisonapple or 536-3311 ext.251

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