August 17, 2018

Student body to vote on activity fee increase

Graphic by Emily Ratkewitz/The Journal

Graphic by Emily Ratkewitz/The Journal

Webster University’s student body will vote whether or not to recommend the administration raise the student activity fee during the Student Government Association (SGA) elections. The activity fee increase proposal suggests the university raise the fee from $30 to $100 each semester, starting in the fall.

Director of Student Activities Jenn Stewart said while students come to college for the academics, activities on campus help students learn in different ways outside of the classroom.

“It’s the student programs and engagement on campus,” Stewart said, “that keeps the students engaged on campus and outside of the classroom.”

The money collected from the fee would provide supplemental funding to SGA, the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs (MCISA) and Campus Activities. The Dean of Students Office would review and determine the ratio of funds allotted to the three departments each year. The proposal also states that SGA would continue to distribute funds to student organizations, programming pool and student grant fund.

Stewart and Assistant Provost for Student Affairs and Athletics Paul Carney discussed the proposal with administrative council on Tuesday, April 8. Administrative Council will make the final decision on whether or not the university will increase the fee.

Stewart said that before administration approves the increase, they want to know that students want to raise the fee. The outcome of the student body’s vote after the elections will serve as a recommendation for the administration.

The student activity fee increase proposal cited other universities with higher fees, according to a document from Stewart.

The current student activity fee of $30 per semester was put in place in April 2006. The current fee provides funding to Campus Activities and MCISA, not SGA.

SGA cut all student organizations’ budgets for the spring semester by 51 percent in February. SGA President Katie Maxwell told The Journal in February the deduction was the result of a lack of SGA funds.

The university allocates the same amount of money to SGA every year. SGA then distributes money to student organizations. SGA has not received an increase in funding since 2004. For more information about potential changes to SGA funding, read the above story, “Webster offers $5,000 to cash-strapped clubs.”

Stewart said raising the fee gives SGA, MCISA and Campus Acitivies a source of secure funding.

Full-time, flat-fee undergraduate students at Webster’s home campus will be eligible to vote. Students can vote online at involved.webster.edu through their connections accounts. Voting takes place April 14 through 17.

Stewart said student leadership plan to get information out to students about the fee throughout the next week.

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