Students’ association board approves modest fee increase
At a meeting of the Students’ Association Advisory Board on April 12, board members voted to increase the 2011-2012 student fees. Members of the board, consisting of the executive and volunteer members, overwhelming supported the motion to increase fees. It will be the first increase in fees in over 10 years. The motion carried with 80 per cent support of voting members. Two board members opposed, while there was one abstention.
The increase in fees, the first since 1999, will be relatively modest. The increases will total between 10 and 12 per cent. Currently, full time students pay $45 in student fees per semester, whereas part time students pay $5 a semester. The increase will now mean that full time students will pay $50 a semester, and $5.50 for part time students. Increases in fees also apply to students studying at satellite campuses. The increase in fees collected by the Students’ Association will add an additional $85,000 to the budget.
The Students’ Association supports and provides funding for a variety of college initiatives and services. Among some of the initiatives the Students’ Association funds are sports teams, convocation ceremonies, and activities around the college.
According to Danielle Funk, the Students’ Association president, the increase in fees was necessary, and long overdue. “The last increase was over a decade ago. We’ve also had an increase in the amount of students at the college which use our services. It was necessary to increase fees. We run a deficit budget every year,” said Funk. “With this increase, we want to do more for students.”
Steve Nachtigall, the Students’ Association’s executive director, also noted the deficit budget. He noted that even with the increase, the SA will still run a deficit in the short-term. “We’re spending more money than we are taking in. My goal is to break even. I think it’s a worthy goal. Salaries, and the cost of doing business has gone up. Costs go up every year.”
Although board members overwhelmingly supported the fee increase, there were two members who did not. Tyler North, a board member who represents Industrial Arts, did not support the increase. “I talked to students in my program, and they were opposed to paying any new increase in fees.” North added, “it’s my job to represent them, and that’s what I did.”
The increase in fees will come into effect in the 2011-2012 school year.