No students attended the Services and Activities Fees Committee open hearing on Thursday, May 19, which recommended an $8 student fee increase for the 2016-2017 academic year.
This 4.1 percent fee increase would apply to students enrolled with 10 or more credits. The additional funding raised would go toward the Student Financial Aid Fund, the Music Copyright Fee and a portion to Housing and Dining.
If passed, the Services and Activities fee would be raised from $197 up to $205 per quarter for a total of $615 instead of the current $591 per academic year.
Students were able to voice their concerns through an anonymous survey emailed by Associated Students Vice President for Business and Operations Hannah Brock. Within the 96 responses, many students expressed confusion over the Services and Activities Fees Committee and annoyance about the fee increase.
“I think it’s really good feedback for the committee to have in the future,” Brock said. “Also knowing that we have a really huge impact on students, and realizing the gravity and the weight of our decisions.”’
Brock said she plans to circulate another campus-wide email summarizing the meeting and responding to student’s feedback.
“Some of these comments surround ‘I don’t use these services, so why should I pay for them,’” committee member Cami Gates said. “But part of being at this level is paying to be part of the community.”
Gates also said fees help to make Western’s campus more active and vibrant.
“It’s on our part and the people above us to keep conversations open,” committee member Nanette Jackson said. “We need to let people know why they’re paying this much.”
The Services and Activities Fees Committee will now make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who will vote June 9 to pass or strike down the fee increase.