SGA discusses fee structure



The Student Government Association listens to a presentation on fee structures and discusses legislation pertaining to funding for Western Illinois University at Tuesday’s meeting.

Becca Langys, Photo Editor

On Tuesday Feb. 13, the Student Government Association of Western Illinois University met for their weekly meeting at 7 p.m. in the Capitol Room in the University Union.

The purpose of the Student Government Association is to ensure that students have a voice on campus. On top of giving students a voice, the Student Government Association aims to improve the overall quality of education that Western students receive, solve campus-wide issues, and greatly improve life on campus.

During this week’s meeting, guest speakers Ketra Russel and John Biernbaum from University Housing and Dining Services spoke about the fee proposal that will affect incoming and current students of the 2018-2019 school year. Russel holds the position of the Assistant Director of Budget and Biernbaum is the Associate Vice-President of Student Services

To start the conversation, Russel let the association know that the University intends to refrain from raising the price of the fees that are charged to the students based on the amount of credit hours they are taking. The University plans to continue supporting the affordability initiative by proposing a zero increase on fees.

Not only did Russel and Biernbaum introduce their idea of a zero-fee increase, but they also explained where the money from the student fees will be allocated.

The first fee discussed was the student activity fee, which is $3.25 per credit hour per student. The money from this fee will be used to support various student activities and organizations throughout campus.

The next fee addressed was the fine arts activity Fee of $2.59 per credit hour. This fee will cover things such as fine arts resources and will help fund fine arts programs across campus.

The talent grant fee of $1.75 per credit hour was next on board for discussion. This fee will directly fund the Talent Grants that are awarded throughout the different organizations around campus.

Following the Talent Grant Fee was the health center fee of $9.41 per credit hour. Whilst this fee is heftier than its successors, it allows every student on campus the ability to use the Beu Health Center and provides partial financial support to the Beu as well.

Athletic fees were the next topic of discussion. At $18.07 per credit hour, the Athletic Fee allows the student body to support the various University sports teams.

Following athletic fees, Russel discussed the bond revenue fee of $28.66 per credit hour, which supports institutions such as residence halls, the recreational center, and the University Union.

Next, the facilities fee of $18.21 was introduced. This fee covers facility improvements such as elevators, sprinklers, rooftops, etc.

The next fee discussed is the publication fee of $0.97 per credit hour. This fee provides financial support to The Western Courier.

The second-to-last fee discussed was the technology fee. This fee provides support to the computer labs around campus, pays for the technology in these labs, and pays the workers who maintain the labs. The fee is $4.89 per credit hour.

Finally, the last fee on the 2018-2019 fee proposal was the transit Fee of $2.78 per credit hour. The Transit Fee helps provide Western students with GoWest transportation at convenient spots on campus.

On top of talk about next year’s fees, the Student Government Association was introduced to SGA Bill of Resolution 2017-2018.002, which was authored by the Director of Academic Affairs Madison Lynn and SGA President Grant Reed. This bill of resolution will request that the legislature and governor adopt a reasonable budget for higher education.

Explained in plainer terms, Grant Reed said this bill essentially, “Dear state of Illinois, please give the state money because we really need it”.

SGA Bill of Resolution passed unanimously.

In other news, the Student Government Association briefly discussed SGA Bill 2017-2018.005 that was first officially introduced in last week’s meeting. Author of the bill, Amanda Wrenn, introduced her plan to gain support for the bill. Wrenn intends to create a survey about the grading and attendance policies for Western students to take. Wrenn is currently in the process of drafting out those questions.