The increase in the student records and activities fee from last year’s tuition was the result of increased costs to maintain the services available to students.
“The reason for the increase in fees was to be able to maintain all the activities and services that the student activities office offers and to account for an increase in the expenses that the office encounters,” according to student Senate Treasurer Daniel Kusky.
The records and activities fee was raised by $5 and the athletic fee by about $17.50. These fees are included under the $145.00 records and activities fee, which also includes cultural affairs activities, student transcripts and graduation.
The overall cost to the fee was only increased by a total of $17 because the graduation fee decreased from $10 to $5 per student.
Affected services include free CDTA access and discounted movie tickets. Kusky sad that the discount tickets, which are currently available to students for $5, were purchased by the school from Regal in the past for $6. This year, the school must pay $8.50 per ticket.
CDTA ridership by students has gone up as well. The college, student Senate and the Faculty Student Association each pay a quarter of the fare that students would pay if they were to pay out-of-pocket.
The total Senate budget amounts to a $826,159 pool that supplies the funds for all campus events, clubs and activities.Welcome Week alone cost $52,900.
During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, $122,655 was requested by clubs from Hudson Valley clubs. After Senate deliberation, $116,054.07 was granted.
Most events have a more modest price tag attached, with homecoming and evening student receptions costing $8,300 and $4,300 respectively.
Accurate allotment is a challenge for campus administration, as yearly funding for clubs, sports and more must first be requested then distributed. Changes are usually based on a club’s equipment needs and changing membership.
International studies major, Alice Hoffman felt the fee increases were positive if they would keep things the way they currently are.
“If it’s maintaining at least the same amount of [programs] or more, then it’s good,” said Hoffman.
A student who preferred to remain anonymous said, “It’s not unreasonable to expect [students] to pay for the kinds of things [an] institution offers.”
The anonymous student recognized that many students use federal funding programs like TAP grants prompting a concern that seemingly small fees may contribute to ballooning national college costs.
The student connected the matter to national trends, saying “Tuition increases and fee increases tend to outpace the rate of inflation, and it’s kind of hard to figure where and why those increases and costs occur.”
Kusky said that there are no plans to increase fees any further. He also said that student enrollment changes haven’t played a part in Senate decision-making.