The Student Government Association (SGA) voted on key legislation Thursday night April 6 after assessing current student fees at Fort Hays State University. Proposed changes to student fees and funding will be placed on the ballot this week, as students cast votes for uncontested student body leadership as well as SGA senators who are up for reelection.
Current SGA President and uncontested presidential nominee Emily Brandt voiced her opinion to senators on the gravity of these student fee decisions amidst a national climate that is pricing students out of an education.
“Students are being priced out of an education everywhere,” Brandt said. As an example, the leader pointed to students that have opted to attend Cloud Community College and other two-year programs instead of FHSU due to the rising price tag of college tuition on the state and national levels.
The proposed changes passed by SGA Senate and developed by the Legislative Political Action Committee (LPAC) affect what is called student fee, which would essentially increase or decrease a tacked on price to the current price per credit hour. One of the proposed changes for this current election is to transfer SGA’s source of funding from the student organization allocations budget to student fee.
This increased burden on students stands in stark contrast to Brandt’s concerns about the rising cost of tuition.
Proponents in the senate say that this transition to student fee funding will free up more money for other on-campus student organizations. SGA currently uses $58,024.68 or roughly 10 percent of the allocations budget. The allocations budget is derived from the Student Activity Fee, which currently sits at $3.86 per credit hour.
Senators voted unanimously to raise the student fee by 55 cents per credit hour for SGA funding, based off of LPAC’s estimation of a total of 107,000 credit hours for the upcoming school year. By this conservative estimation, the proposed fee increase would increase SGA funding by around $800 totaling up to $58,850.
The largest fee increase to be put to vote this week will be 4 dollars, applied to the creation of the Center for Student Success.
FHSU Students will be able to vote on student fee issues and SGA President/VP tickets this week, starting Wednesday and concluding Thursday. Students will be able to cast their votes on Tigerlink.fhsu.edu, or in voting booths in the Memorial Union Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.