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Students support activity fee increase

The student activity fee may increase to offset the escalating cost of paying and accommodating performers and to support the rise of activities on campus.
Director of Student Activities Michelle Whited said she recommends the fee increase $50 a year beginning fall 2009.
“The number of events and programs on campus has increased, and the organizations are just more active on campus,” Whited said. “There’s a higher need for money.”
With the increase, the fee will be $120 a year instead of the current $70 a year.
The Student Advisory Committee, a group that consists of students leaders from campus organizations, voted Wednesday to increase the fee $60 a year, bringing the fee to $130 a year.
The recommendation will be taken to University President Joanne Glasser and Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna for approval.
Senior international studies and political science major Sarah Shadnia is a member of SAC who voted to increase the fee $60 a year.
She said she thinks there is a need for more diversity in activities on campus.
“Hopefully more groups will get funding from it, not just [the Activities Council] but smaller organizations,” Shadnia said.
Whited said the increase is needed because of the state of the economy and the extra needs of performers.
“You’re paying for their crew, their equipment, their travel,” Whited said. “There’s a lot of other costs that come into that.”
She said musicians aren’t making a lot of revenue from CD sales and make most of their money from concerts.
“The concert industry is pretty fickle in terms of when bands tour,” Whited said. “But if we have more money in that account, it could give us the opportunity to bring bigger names.”
She said the Student Activity Budget Review Committee, the group that decides how the pool of student activity fees is allocated, has to cut programs students may be interested in because there is not enough money.
“The number of club sports asking for money has grown, so to keep up with them, it takes money,” Whites said.
SABRC chairman Jake Schmitt said it’s difficult for the group to decide which organizations not to fund.
“We end up with way more of what we want than what we can allow,” he said.
Also, the Late Night BU programming, which offers alternatives to students drinking on weekends and is part of the new Comprehensive Alcohol Action Plan, will need support from the pool of student activity fees.
Whited said the university allocated about $100,000 for the Alcohol Plan, and each Late Night BU program costs about $6,000. There are seven events planned for this year alone.
“We think these events are going to be very popular and in order to create new and different things it’s going to take more money to do so,” she said.
Also, this year’s Late Night BU programs have received sponsorship, but Whited said the university may not be able to find sponsors in the future.
“We feel comfortable with what we have to get Late Night BU started, but we anticipate to have Late Night BU grow … the number of times we offer it could grow,” Whited said.
She said the increased fee will also cover the salary of a new full-time staff member to work in student activities.
She said even with the increase, Bradley’s activity fee will be still lower than many other surrounding universities and colleges of the same size.
Many other schools have additional athletic or technology fees, she said.
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