Self assessed fees discussed in open forum

With rumors of budget cuts swirling around campus, the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Sudent Senate met on Monday, March 21, to discuss possible fee increases to certain departments around campus. Although it was a public forum along with a senate meeting, there was a small turnout from the gallery.

The entire fee increase would amount to about $75.25, totaling to $107.10. With departments and services such as the KSLU radio station, shuttle services and the Student Foundation gaining minimal fees of anywhere from 25 cents to three dollars. Other services would gain substantial fee increases such as Student Recreational Operations and Lion Athletics receiving $15  and $50 respectively.

“The nature of the senators is to know what’s going on and to talk to the students,” said Budget Oversight Chairman and SGA vice-presidential candidate M.J. Ahmad.

Compared to institutions around the state of Louisiana, Southeastern is the third lowest total resident fee in the state, behind McNeese State and LA Tech, although LA Tech  uses a “quarter system,” instead of a semester system.  

“As you can see, the student recreational building fee, parking garage fee, student union expansion fee and the student operations fee, in other words, we can’t just all of a sudden get up and say, we can’t have that fee anymore, because we put money into bonds, and we have to pay off those bonds,” said SGA president David Cavell.

Another problem addressed was the student promotion at athletic events.

“Well, it’s a direct correlation between school spirit and being involved on campus and student enrollment,” said Ahmad.

In the meeting, a referendum sheet was passed out, charting all the benefits if each department were to succeed in receiving their fee increase, submitted by budget unit heads. If recreational sports were to gain a piece of the fee increase, the benefits would range from longer pool hours, to free aerobic classes continuing, and longer hours in general. If a spirit fee were to garner a fee increase, it would support travel for the marching band, and travel supplies for the Lionettes and cheerleaders. If KSLU were to gain a portion it would go towards internships, hands on training for students and keeping full time staff.

Speculations if the student body did not approve the fee increase were mentioned, but not discussed at length.

Another page handed out showed the projected revenue with the new fee, compared to the revenue generated from the previous year. Student Recreation Operations would almost double their budget, from $501,558 to $1,014,400, while Shuttle Services would jump from $192,418 to $285,300. Others would see a more minor increase, such as the SLU Opera, seeing an increase from $28,437 to $63,400.

Through the talks of budget cuts, Cavell was still pleased with the job done by the Budget Oversight Committee.

“I understand that a lot of people are unhappy because of the budget cuts and the times we’re in, but please do understand the Budget Oversight Committee is doing their job,” said Cavell.

Finally, bills campaigning for an Earth Day, which will be held on April 12, and a bill to bring renowned saxophonist Dale Underwood to Pottle Music Building Auditorium were passed. Charts of the referendum are available on SGA’s website, www.selu.edu/admin/sga/elections.