Mandatory Fee Committee votes to create new fees using reallocated funds

The Student Mandatory Fee Committee voted to increase the athletic fee by $14, create a fee to extend library hours and add a new green fee using funds from an expired library fee on Oct 18.

Dr. Cheryl Levick, director of athletics, said the $14 athletic fee increase would go towards creating two new women’s sports teams: swimming and diving and, possibly, lacrosse. A three-year moratorium on additional athletic fee increases was stipulated.

If the Board of Regents approves the committee’s recommendation, a new library fee will utilize $5 of the $35 mandatory fee previously allocated to library upkeep. The upkeep fee expired this month.

Andrew Whyte, SGA president, said the new library fee to extend hours is historic for the association.

“We’re the first SGA that has done this in the history of Georgia State,” he said.

The sustainability fee would be created using $3 of the reallocated fees. The environmental-friendly fee, previously known as the green fee, failed to receive funding when proposed in previous years.

Whyte said he is pleased with the final outcome because the association was able to keep a huge promise to students.

“We were able to do what was needed without raising student fees,” he said.

The average student pays $1,064 in mandatory fees every semester.

“It’s a big thing to create a new mandatory fee because it goes forever,” Dr. Douglass Covey, vice president of student affairs, said.

The Student Mandatory Fee Committee voted to create committees to oversee the use of money for the two new fees.

“Creating a new fee should warrant some kind of student advisement,” Whyte said.

SGA would appoint the students that would make up half of the overseeing committees.

In addition to the athletic fee, the health, transportation and international education fees would be granted an increase in funding using the reallocated fees based on the committee’s recommendation.

Dr. Jill Lee-Barber, director of the counseling and testing center, said the $5 increase in the student health fee would go towards improving electronic medical records and urgent care response.

Transportation requested a $5 increase, but the committee only approved $4. Dr. Wayne Reed, assistant vice president for auxiliary and support services, noted that the committee hasn’t received an increase in seven years.

“We are finally out of a historic debt and we want to stay out,” Reed said.

The international education fee was given a $4 increase. Dr. Jeremy Billetdeaux, director of study abroad programs, said money that is not spent would automatically go into scholarships.

“We try to give as much as possible back to students,” he said.

The activity, recreational, student center, technology and USG institution fees would not increase based on the committee’s recommendations.

The Student Mandatory Fee Committee’s votes will go to the Fiscal Advisory Committee as recommendations before being sent to President Becker. The Board of Regents will make the final decision in late spring 2014, but they are not bound by the committee’s recommendations.

“We reallocated important dollars to continuing activities that really need help to do a better job for students and yet [we] also established two permanent mandatory fees to sustain new interests of the student body. [To] do all of that at no additional cost to [students’] pockets is a great opportunity,” Covey said.


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