Student fees are proposed to increase by over $100 per semester starting in fall 2016, but before President Dean Bresciani’s sign-off, the student fee advisory board will have its say.
The 14-member board meets Wednesday to vote on recommendations to Bresciani regarding student fee increase proposals ranging from technology and wellness fees to NDSU athletics’ 35 percent increase request.
Ten voting members comprise part of the the SFAB, six of which are students. Provost Beth Ingram, vice president for student affairs Timothy Alvarez and vice president for finance and administration Bruce Bollinger are non-voting members. Student body president Eric McDaniel is board chair and a tie breaker.
The process leading up to SFAB’s vote includes various campus entities like the library committee and the wellness advisory board examining their budgets and future to propose any fee increases, McDaniel said.
SFAB oversees five fees, including the library, technology, student activity, health/wellness and career services fees.
Other fees proposed to increase like North Dakota Student Association and Union Bond fees do not apply to SFAB, McDaniel added.
Representatives of each fee sit on the SFAB, including office of finance executive commissioner Jay Homan and vice president for information technology Marc Wallman, who oversee the student activity and technology fees, respectively.
“They all represent their fee and they just kinda give information,” McDaniel said. “They bring their proposals for increases to SFAB … and they go through a request application packet to request it for SFAB, and all those applications were due in December.”
SFAB meets “once or twice” in fall, McDaniel said, like last fall when the board met to discuss bylaw amendments.
Wednesday’s two-hour meeting will allow for discussion and voting on the increase proposals. The meeting is not open to the public, McDaniel said, as students had their chance to give input at open forums in late January.
He added he received 30 to 35 student emails regarding fee increase proposals.
“Some people have been upset with all the athletics one; that’s the probably been the main one,” McDaniel said, adding, “Each fee increase has been represented, both positive and negative.”
Following its votes, SFAB will make recommendations to Bresciani, who will sign off on the proposals before Feb. 25.
Any total increases over $67.62, or 1 percent, must be approved by the State Board of Higher Education. If it completely passed, fee increases would total $105.12, or nearly $40 over the 1 percent cap, McDaniel said.
“SFAB really doesn’t have any power, in a way. We make recommendations to President Bresciani. He has final say,” McDaniel said, adding Bresciani is unlikely to rule against students’ votes and voices.
“If we give him a number, I would say all he would do was decrease it. I don’t think he’d add on something,” McDaniel added. ” … He wouldn’t say, ‘I want this also’ because the majority of this is students.”
Check back with The Spectrum later this week for results of SFAB’s meeting.