University News

Activities fee increase proposed to UCS

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, October 29, 2009

A resolution proposed to the Undergraduate Council of Students last night would seek to raise the student activities fee by $8.

Brady Wyrtzen ’11, student activities chair for UCS, presented the resolution to the full council at Wednesday’s UCS general body meeting. The increase would bring the student activities fee to a yearly total of $178. This increase would not affect student tuition, Wyrtzen said, just the portion of student tuition allocated to student activities.

The fee hike is necessitated by the growing number of student groups on campus, rising salaries of public safety officers and increasing costs for event services and staffing, according to Wyrtzen.

Wyrtzen said the current financial crisis also played a factor in his decisions.

“Since funds are shrinking, now more than ever it makes sense to support student activities, since the places that students usually go for money have disappeared,” he said.

The total UCS body is expected to vote on the resolution at next week’s meeting. As the initial feedback on the resolution from UCS members involved only grammatical issues, Wyrtzen said he anticipates “little to no resistance” from the full council.

If the resolution is approved by UCS, it will be sent to Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn and eventually to the University Resources Committee, which will review the resolution and use it to inform their recommendation to President Ruth Simmons and the Corporation.

Whether the Corporation, Brown’s highest governing body, accepts UCS’s student activities fee recommendations varies from year to year, said UCS President Clay Wertheimer ’10. Last year, UCS requested an $8 increase and received $6, he said. In 2007, UCS recommended an unprecedented $54 increase, but was only granted $10 by the Corporation.

Wertheimer said the Corporation will be looking to keep costs low, but he said he remains “hopeful” they will get the full amount asked for.

The total funds raised by the increase would surpass the expected $44,343.04 increase in costs for student activities. In his weekly presidential update, Wertheimer announced that the State of the University Address by Simmons is tentatively scheduled for March 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. In the address, which is timed with the Corporation spring meeting, Simmons plans to discuss University budget cuts.

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