North Dakota State students may soon be receiving a fee increase of $2.56 per credit.
Spencer Moir, NDSU’s student body president and board chair of the Student Fee Advisory Board, said the increase is 32 cents below the one percent student fee increase cap at an increase of $2.87. Any fee increase above the one percent cap needs to be approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.
Mason Wenzel, executive commissioner of finance for student government, said, “This is the exact amount necessary to bring people to proper operations.”
The original proposal for how much the student activity fee should be increased was $3.39, which was 51 cents over the one percent cap.
Wenzel said student government immediately went for the secondary request due to the most recent set of student fee increases. “There’s no reason to do that two years in a row,” he said. Last year student fees increased by $2.81 per credit.
Moir said the increased fees will be going to benefit the students directly.
All four fees, which requested an increase, received an increase. The student activity fee received a 56-cent per credit increase, the library fee received a 28-cent per credit increase, the health fee received a $1 per credit increase and the technology fee received a 63-cent per credit increase.
The idea behind this increase is for the Student Activity budget to get back to it’s original, more sustainable, budget as opposed to running off deficits that reoccur every year.
This adjustment is particularly helpful for Memorial Union, a building that all students benefit from, which typically plans into the future by 10 years, but when operating at a deficit struggles to do so.
Student health services has not received an increase in the previous six years, though needed one now due to the aquatic center, Moir said.
Moir added SHS has been operating with a deficit budget for the previous six years, and this increase allows them to operate outside of a deficit.
The increase will prevent students from being deterred from going into SHS when feeling ill.
The student activity fee will be allocated to fund tier I and tier II organizations. Campus Attractions, Memorial Union, NDSU Athletics and student media all receive funding from the student activity fee.
The library fee increase will allow NDSU libraries to purchase necessary materials and the technology fee allocates for updated technology around campus and to the STEM building.
Moir said technology runs off a “refreshing strategy.” That is, technology around campus gets replaced every so often in an effort to not only keep the campus technology updated, but also to keep it consistent.
“It’s never satisfying to increase fees,” Wenzel said.
Wenzel said fees are necessary to ensure the proper organization and management of operations throughout campus.
Despite overwhelming negative feedback requesting no more fee increases, Wenzel said this increase should last for a few years before another large increase would be necessary.
All fee increase recommendations by SFAB must be signed off by NDSU President Dean Bresciani before fee increases take effect.