Departments seek student fee increases, student fee hearings begin

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Campus Recreation and the Sorensen Student Center Operation and Management are asking the student council for increased fees to improve service quality and accommodate university-mandated wage increases. 

Every year the student council meets in the beginning of January to reassess student fees and propose changes to the Presidential Council. As mentioned in a previous piece, student fees are those charged to students in exchange for services and benefits offered on campus.

Examples of these fees are Student Health Services, or the UTA pass provided to students throughout the semester. As described by Marrisa King, director of student leadership and involvement, student fees are the “extras on a cake.”

The hearing conducted on Jan. 13 reviewed presentations from senior director of Campus Recreation, DaSheek Akwenye, and Joel Herd, director of the SLWC/Sorensen Student Center O&M. Both are asking for increases in the student fees allotted to their department.

“Kids want a quality education,” Akwenye remarked. “Our job as a recreational department is to complement that.”

Akwenye announced during the meeting that Campus Recreation will be seeking an increase of $2.28 to the existing fee of $26.16. Bringing the proposed 2022-2023 fee for students to $28.44.

“This fee increase will allow the [Outdoor Adventure Center] to hire a [full time] exempt – experimental education manager to lead these trips and excursions for students, to avoid and stay clear of any major risk to the university, and provide adequate care,” the proposal reads.

This new position would encompass an existing part-time job in favor of a full-time one. It would serve a role of providing expert care in UVU experimental trip activities that the OAC hosts. These proposals also are taking into consideration a mandated increase in wages provided to university staff.

As it currently stands, these proposals are subjected to change due to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that is being enacted by the state legislature in the 2022 general session. Departments are currently planning for an increase of 5% however that is subject to change if the legislature increases it by a different margin.

Herd presented to the council next, proposing an increase to the existing fee of $30.68 by $1.27, bringing the fee up to $31.95. This increase is also designed to prepare for the future increase in COLA within the State of Utah.

All proposals are currently preliminary and might be adjusted depending on the deliberation of the Student Council. The council is set to vote on a final proposal for student fees on Feb. 3.

“I think students still have a lot of questions,” said Karen Magaña-Aguado, UVU student body president. “I can’t say for certain what [a final proposal] will look like … we understand the importance of [COLA].”

The next hearing will take place Jan. 20, beginning at 1:15 p.m. It will hear presentations from student programs and building bonds & UTA. All students are welcome to attend these meetings, both in person at the student council chamber and virtually.

For a full schedule visit the UVUSA website and to access the online meeting, join the teams link.