Departments remain firm as fee hearings progress: fees likely not to change

The second day of student fee hearings saw three departments present to the UVUSA Student Council; as of now, no department has requested an increase or decrease in their student fees to keep with Governor Cox’s call for tuition to remain the same this year.

Bill Erb, senior director for Student Health Services, makes his case to the student council to maintain his department's student fee. Photo by Matthew Drachman

The UVUSA Student Council met to begin the second day of fee hearings in which they heard from three departments; all requested to maintain their current fees.

Meeting Jan. 19, the council heard from Campus Rec, Student Life, and Student Health Services. Keeping with Governor Cox’s call to freeze fees and tuition given to students, departments have opted to maintain their fees while using alternative means to keep with COLA increases.

The council first heard from Sasha Smirnova, senior director of campus recreation, who presented the proposal on Campus Rec. The fee itself remains unchanged at $29.27. This fee is used by the department to maintain the various student programs that can be found in the Student Life and Wellness Center, including programs like Wellness, the Outdoor Adventure Center, The Project climbing wall, intramural, Club Sports and rodeo.

As mentioned above, these fees remain the same in large part due to the request by Governor Cox to not add more expense to students.

“Due to the freeze of student fees requested by Governor Cox,” the request reads. “Recreation and Wellness requests to maintain their existing student fee to maintain current operations, staffing and programming.”

Next up was Marissa King, senior director of student involvement and engagement, who presented on behalf of the student life programs. Following suit to maintain, the fee proposal was $53.01; however, it was noted that an increase will be necessary in the future.

“We have to see what enrollment looks like [next year],” King stated in referring to how the freeze would affect proposals for 2024-2025. “Eventually I will have to ask for an increase.”

Finally students heard from Bill Erb, senior director of SHS, who presented on behalf of SHS. Also following suit, SHS requested to maintain their fee of $9.84. Erb had stated that the mission of the department was to provide “equity” to all their students, and that was what they hoped to keep doing with the money they received from student fees. Erb spoke in length about improvements made since last year of their mental health wait times.

“We are starting to see slots open up,” Erb stated when asked about mental health screenings. SHS hopes that in the new year, they will be able to continue to improve the process of providing mental health care.

The final day of hearings will take place on Jan. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the student council chamber. There the council will hear from the School of the Arts, along with the Athletic Department. Truth in Tuition will also be held on Feb. 16.

For more information on student fees, tuition changes, and dates for these hearings, visit the UVUSA website.

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