GPSC approves of OIT student tech fee raise

By Emily Cooper, Staff Reporter

Graduate and Professional Student Council was scheduled to vote on the possible increase to the Student Technology Fee during their next meeting on Nov. 13, but the council motioned to vote at this Tuesday’s meeting.

The final vote was 21 yes votes with three abstentions and two no’s. The majority of the council fully supports the fee raise.

“As far as proposed increases to the student fees, [the] Office of Information Technology is looking to student constituency bodies for guidance on this,” GPSC President Clay Awsumb said. “That is not something that is usually considered good practice to bring forward proposed increases to student fees or tuition without the support of students.”

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OIT charges the Student Technology Fee to provide students with critical technology services, Scott Bridges, Interim Assistant Provost and Chief Information Officer of OIT, said.

This fee covers things like funds to pay SalukiTech Support Teams, email security, D2L and more.

“The cost of software, or even the software that is available at a student discount, is sometimes unmanageable and WiFi in some parts of campus is spotty at best,” Bridges said. “Making these things more available in a more modern way is appealing to students on campus.”

The university’s Student Technology Fee is currently $7 per credit hour. This fee is included in the $117 per credit hour general fee that students pay each semester.

The $7 Student Technology Fee currently allows OIT to “keep the lights on,” Bridges said.

“However, we do not have the resources to propel us forward,” Bridges said. “We propose an increase of $3 per credit hour, to $10 per credit hour for the STF.”

Increasing the Student Technology Fee by $3 would raise the general per credit hour fee from $117 to $120, Bridges said.

Bridges said the fee was created in 2007.

“A decade has gone by, if not more, without any increase towards this, but yet the cost has risen,” Dianah McGreehan, GPSC vice president of administrative affairs, said. “To be able to maintain and sustain what we currently have, but also to expand that, we need to expand what we’re providing to the this.”

Olinda Hubbs, Strategic Communications, said times have changed, systems have changed and technology has changed. OIT finds itself keeping things running.

“We stay at a maintenance level, but as technology increases for us to move to that next level we just don’t have the funds,” Hubbs said. “That next level of upgrade is really what makes the difference between having that technology as a utility versus having it as a tool.”

Staff reporter Emily Cooper can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ecooper212.

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