Student activity fee increase proposed for fall of next year

Director of Student Activities Michelle Whited is proposing a $40 increase in the student activities fee in response to the economy.

Whited said the cost of bringing large concerts to campus continues to rise.

“Travel, hotels, flights, gas and other accommodations are becoming more expensive because of the economy,” Whited said. “It’s making it harder for us to bring in major concerts. An act that was once $50,000 is now $100,000.“

Whited proposed that the student activity fee be raised $40 per year from $130 to $170 starting with the 2012-13 academic year.

“I think an increase in the fee will definitely broaden our horizons,” said Assistant Director of Student Activities Dain Gotto. “The cost to put on a show has increased dramatically in five years and we aren’t in the place to get big performers anymore. It would allow us to get more acts in the range of $75,000 to $100,000. We still couldn’t bring Lady Gaga but we could bring decent acts.”

Not only would an increase in the fee support SERF and allow them to continue bringing large acts to campus, it would support the Student Activities Budget Review Committee (SABRC) general fund, Whited said.

“SABRC supports and helps fund student events from a number of different acts, lectures and bands,” she said. “Having the opportunity to increase SABRC’s funds is necessary in order to really support the programs and student events that make Bradley that much stronger and better.”

Junior SABRC member Jeff Baumgartner said an increase in the student activity fee will benefit the organization and the student body.

“There’s a lot of things we want to do but can’t,” he said. “The amount students will get back for paying a small increase will be more valuable and well worth it. SABRC would then have the option to bring more student workshops, events and smaller concerts to campus. From a student standpoint, most won’t even notice the increase. How often do students look at their tuition bill anyways?”

Both Vice President of Student Affairs Alan Galsky and the Student Advisory Committee approved Whited’s proposal, and it was presented to Student Senate on Monday. If approved by Student Senate, it will move to the administration.

“I’m definitely in support of evaluating the fee and either redistributing funds or looking at a moderate change,” said Student Body President Tricia Anklan. “But I think an increase of $40 is a lot since we last increased it three years ago.”

The last time the student activity fee was increased was in 2008, from $75 to $130. Whited said if the fee is increased for the 2012-13 school year, it will not be examined or changed for at least three years.

“There is a guarantee that we won’t discuss the fee again until three more years,” she said. “ We went eight years, from 2001 to 2008, before it was raised again because we didn’t have a need to raise it.”

Sophomore psychology major Jennifer Dukes said she didn’t attend the Taking Back Sunday concert because she did not know the band and said she supports a raise in the student activity fee.

“I personally don’t mind if the activity fee is raised,” she said. “I think people enjoy [the concert] more when they know the band better.”

Sophomore psychology major Emily Janes said she likes the idea of bringing bigger names to campus too, but doesn’t agree with a raise in the fee.

“If I knew it was going towards bands I liked I would be okay paying extra,” she said. “But I don’t think it would be fair if the whole campus has to pay more to fund events that they may not gain from.”

Student Senate will be voting on this proposal on Monday Oct. 24 during their general assembly meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the Garret Center. Students with comments, questions and/or concerns about proposal are invited to attend.