The Associated Students of ASU Presidents Council proposed to increase the annual student programs fee by $100 during a forum Friday morning.
The student programs fee will increase from $25 to $75 per semester for full-time students; this is a $3.13 increase per week, according to the ASASU Presidents Council. Additionally, the fee for part-time students will increase from $12 to $38 per semester, an increase of $1.56 per week. Students in online programs will not be subject to the fee increase.
The fee increase is a return to the original amount proposed when the student programs fee was created. The Arizona Board of Regents originally deemed $75 per semester as “too high” and lowered it to today’s $25 per semester.
This increase would bring in a calculated $6 million in new revenue. The breakdown of the new revenue is as follows: 26 percent for new funding for Associated Students of ASU branches; 16 percent for Programming and Activities Boards; 50 perfect for intercollegiate athletics improvements; and eight percent for a student spirit club intended to support spirit, pride and tradition at ASU.
Student leaders on each campus expressed concern for such a high amount of student money funneling into athletics. The fee increase would cause Intercollegiate Athletics to enter a memorandum of understanding, or contract of sorts, with ASASU Presidents Council.
“I want to point out this (Memorandum of Understanding between intercollegiate athletics and ASASU) is good for one year,” said Daniel Hatch, president of USG at ASU West. “It’s important as students to understand what we control and we can control this fee. Everything is negotiable.”
Despite the student programs free increase, ASU would still have the lowest total fees in the state university system with $694 per student compared to this year’s fee of $594 per student. For the 2011-2012 school year, University of Arizona will have the highest fee at $913 per student. Northern Arizona University will be at $815 per student.
“This is less than the cost of a Starbucks for full-time students,” said Kelley Stewart, president of Graduate and Professional Students Association. “If students don’t invest in the University, it’s hard to attract alumni and donors to do the same.”
The forum was opened to one campus at a time after the respective president of each ASASU branch presented how it would uniquely apply to the campus.
ASASUD President Christian Vasquez said the fee would go toward funding PAB, as well as the intramural program downtown.
At the different campuses, intramurals are funded differently, Vasquez said.
“For our (campus), it comes directly from the student fee. This proposal would put money into these two programs, thus there would be more money in the general student fee fund for student organizations as well. As our campus continues to grow, new organizations emerge every semester thus our requests (increase).”
Derek Upayokin, president of PAB Polytechnic, supported the increase because it would help bring more forms of entertainment to the campus, as well as promote community involvement.
“If we get more of the community involved with the University, that could lead to increase of enrollment because the parents in the community love what the University is doing, keep students who graduate more involved with their University which could eventually lead to them donating money back to the ASU,” Upayokin said in an email.
Kate Vawter, president of PAB Tempe, affirmed PAB Tempe’s support of the increase as well.
“Students aren’t going to stay at university with increasing tuition if they aren’t getting an experience they love,” Vawter said. “This increase can give them that experience.”
“It’s 100 bucks, three dollars a day. If you can’t afford that, you can’t afford to come to any university,” Vawter said.
PAB West and Downtown could not be reached for comment.
ASASUD had not taken an official stance for or against the increase as of Friday.
In addition to the proposal for a student fee increase within the University, a push for tuition increases from outside ASU is apparent. As tuition will likely increase to compensate for loss of state funding, ASU will have a tuition hearing for students to ask questions and voice concerns directly to the Arizona Board of Regents.
The tuition hearing will take place Monday at 5 p.m. in the Nursing & Health Innovation, Building 2, room 110.
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