SGA approves Student Activities Fee increase

The Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution calling for an increase in the Student Activities Fee (SAF) for the 2008-2009 school year. After the resolution was tabled for further discussion and a vote at the previous week’s meeting, it passed with only four votes against it at the April 9 meeting.

Leo Acevedo, Student Finance Board executive director, provided clarification on the outline for the allocation of the SAF funds. The latest draft of the plan called for an $80 increase in SAF, not $60, which is what he presented at last week’s meeting. According to this plan, students would pay $223 a year for the SAF portion of their bill, instead of the current fee of $143.

The $80 increase would be used to fund a Sovereign Bank Arena concert, two large concerts at the College, comedy shows, a Saturday “loop,” movie nights, insurance for club sports teams, carnivals and weekly bus trips.

The resolution again met with division among SGA members.

Many agreed that more programs were needed on campus to attract potential students to the College and to make the school more enjoyable for current students. Adding concerts, comedy shows, and various events on weekends would also challenge the College’s reputation as a “suitcase school.”

“It’s actually one of the lowest fees we pay. This increase is not that big in terms of what we pay for what we are going to get out of it,” Sheil Naik, senator of Business, said.

Others felt that increasing the SAF by 50 percent in one year was too much of a burden on students, especially in the face of already increasing tuition, and that it was unfair to those who do not attend events on campus.

“Why can’t we ask people to pay more for a ticket? Why charge 5,000 students for a concert that only 300 people go to? It doesn’t make sense,” Mike Peters, senator of Culture and Society, said.

After receiving SGA support, the draft for the increase in SAF will now be debated and voted on by the Board of Trustees.

SGA also gave the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) club status. FIMRC is a national non-profit organization that recruits college students from all majors to work in clinics around the world. The College chapter will raise donations to send supplies to these clinics and send students overseas during breaks.

The club was approved with a unanimous vote.