Could athletic fees increase $15?

Tyler McNeil

Managing Editor

Students could pay more towards athletics than towards student activities in fees and dues for the first time in recent history.

“I do think [the athletic department] is at least justified in asking for more money,” Student Senate Treasurer Josiah Dillon said regarding discussions with the athletic department, increasing the athletic fee by as much as $15.

“The athletic department is really suffering right now,” said Student Senate vice president Bryce Kirk. He hopes that the athletic fee will not increase over $10.

“In the past two years, we’ve seen two [areas] hit with major expenses,” said Faculty Student Association director Ann Carrozza. She mentioned the athletic department’s greatest financial difficulties in recent years have been adjusting to rising insurance and travel expenses.

The Student Senate is putting the cost of the activities and athletic fee, both costing $50, back on the table after two years. The fee decision could add up to $20 to the $128 student activities and records fee.

“They should always [make] the student [body’s] perspective a number one [priority],” Manik Elahi, said CIS student. The fee was originally planned to be discussed last week but was delayed due to an over hour-long executive session where the senate decided not to appoint Elahi a senator.

Audrey McKee, senior senator, hopes the fee does not change. “If just adds more stress to [students]. I don’t see a reason to raise the fee if it’s not needed,” she said.

Last year, Student Activities collected $802,562 in fees according to the 2014-15 FSA budget. “Hudson Valley has a lot of events on campus and people actually do come to those events so they do actually use their students activities fee and if we have more money, we can have more events on campus,” said Chad Albright, senior senator.

The student activity fee has been raised $15 in the last seven years for full-time students. For part-time students, the fee, which is currently $4.00, has only increased by $1 since 2008.

“Being involved in student activities, you don’t really have a big budget to start with so only if we raised the fee $5 per person, it would make all the difference,” Freshman Class President Emma Dillon said.

This year’s Student Senate budget was reduced due to an anticipated drop in enrollment.

“You have to protect yourself if [enrollment] does decline because this price is going to be the same price for the next two years,” said Erika Pelletier, chairwoman of the Student Senate Community Service Committee. She was the only senator currently in the organization to vote on the student activities fee back in 2013 when it was raised $5.

Every two years, the Student Senate is required to vote on the student activities and records fee cost and every three years the organization decides whether the fees are mandatory for all students.

According to Student Activities, the fee’s mandatory status will be up for vote a year ahead of schedule. “Everything would just fall apart,” said Kirk, in regard to making the student activity fee optional.

 

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