USG prepares to vote on fees

By Gus Bode

Three more proposed fees were presented to the Undergraduate Student Government Wednesday in the senate’s last meeting before officially voting on the proposals.

USG asked questions to administrators about the intercollegiate athletic fee, facilities maintenance fee and student recreation fee. The government also discussed student fees including transportation, health care and Student Center at its Oct. 22 meeting.

Phil Gatton, director of plant and service operations, presented the facilities maintenance fee proposal, which called for a $48 increase to raise the total to $192. The fee is estimated to generate $3.3 million to repair roofs, steam tunnels and domestic water lines as the aesthetics of facilities, Gatton said.


The fee, which was created in fiscal year 2007, was voted down by USG in 2007 and the senate remained critical of the proposal Wednesday. Gatton said the fee is scheduled to be phased in over four years and is critical to the health and safety issues on campus.

‘We have a 10 year plan to make $75 million in improvements, but that is a long way off,’ Gatton said. ‘We just need to concentrate on the health and safety issues on campus, so projects could change.’

Athletic Director Mario Moccia presented the proposed increase for the intercollegiate fee. The fee is proposed to increase from $275 per semester to $288 per semester.’ He also announced the planned $44 increase for the Saluki Way fee would not be necessary at this time.

Moccia said the main reasons for the $13 increase included the rising costs of travel, especially with colleges from North Dakota and South Dakota being added to the football conference and a potential trip to New York for the men’s basketball team.

Priciliano Fabian, a sophomore senator representing the College of Education and Human Services, said he did not agree with the proposal.

He said he thought teams should be required to fundraise, though Moccia said all teams voluntarily fundraise throughout the year.

‘I’m not quite in favor of the athletic fee,’ Fabian said. ‘The athletes don’t have to raise money, and I know he said most of them do, but I think it should be required.’


Fabian was not as critical of the recreation fees.

Willie Ehling, director of Recreational Sports and Services, presented the proposed increases for the student and campus recreation fee. The student recreation fee is proposed to increase from $120 to $126.73 while the campus recreation fee is set to increase from $6.60 to $8.29

Fabian said he could support the increase since he knew that at least 25 percent of that fee would be going back to students who work for the Recreation Center.

‘ No matter which way the senate votes on the fees at its Nov. 19 meeting, Fabian said he is not confident the university will listen.

‘I think our vote could have a little effect, but with the Board of Trustees, I don’t know,’ Fabian said. ‘They are very disconnected with the student population and I don’t think they listen to our concerns.’

USG President Chiquita Watts said the senate vote on the proposed fee increases is crucial. She challenged the senators to speak with their constituents and do their best to represent their opinions.

‘I advise you go out and speak with your constituents about these fees so you can vote for them and not for yourselves.’

Jeff Engelhardt can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected]