In a rare policy shift, the administration is asking for student input on its proposal to increase the undergraduate and graduate broad-based fees, which include the health services, athletic, technology and transportation fees.
Despite the administration’s recent efforts, the student body and student government organizations have expressed dissatisfaction with the student input process and the process by which the administration drafted the proposal.
“We are unwilling to accept the administration’s feigned cooperation and deliberate actions to continue working behind our backs,” the Graduate Student Organization Executive Council said in a statement. “Given the lack of transparency, [we] cannot justify the proposed fee increases.”
GSO President Froylan Enciso said that the administration has not fulfilled promises it made last semester to make its decision making process more transparent.
During a press conference, the Associate Vice President and Controller Lyle Gomes said that the student consultation process began on Feb. 15th with an email to the entire student body that outlines the proposed fee increases. The administration plans to use student advisory committees to gather student advice and recommendations. It has also created a student feedback form on the bursar/student accounts website that allows a student to choose a specific fee that they would like to comment on. A town hall style meeting will be held on March 2nd during campus lifetime and others may be scheduled in the future, Gomes said.
The bursar website outlines the specific services and improvements that each fee will support. The undergraduate fees would be raised by $121 per semester, a 17% increase, while graduate fees by $104.50 per semester, a 22% increase.
The SUNY policy document on student fees states that “each campus must adopt a comprehensive broad-based fee policy that ensures student involvement in the decision-making process.”
USG Vice President of Communications and Public Relations, David Mazza said that though he doesn’t feel that student input will stop the administration from raising fees, the fact that they are asking for input at all is an accomplishment.
“It’s not that students have any power that they didn’t have before,” Mazza said. “But they opened a dialogue.”