The Arts and maintenance request increases to student fees; first day of hearings begin

Reading Time: 2 minutes The UVUSA Student Council met with representatives from the School of the Arts and Operations and Managment to discuss proposed changes to their student fees. Both organizations are asking for increases in their fees for the upcoming year.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Proposals to increase student fees were brought to the student council as the first day of hearings began to decide the next academic year’s fee proposal. 

The UVUSA Student Council began the hearings on Jan. 18, and heard from the School of the Arts, and the Operational and Management department which handles upkeep in the Sorensen Student Center and the Student Life and Wellness Center

Jim Godfrey, professor within the School of the Arts, was the first to present to the council. The School of the Arts is requesting an increase of $2.29 to their current fee of $1.71, bringing the fee to $4.00 for each student. 

“I want you to know that I don’t take asking you for more money lightly,” Godfrey said to the council. “It’s hard, I wish we could keep it where it is and say everything is good.” 

The reason behind the request was three-fold. First, currently the School of the Arts is predicting a 15% increase in attendance at their performances throughout the next year. The second reason given was that due to inflation, costs for production have gone up. According to Godfrey, the School of the Arts has had to spend more on lumber, fabrics, and other materials to put on performances. Along with the mandated COLA increase that requires an increase in pay for public employees. 

The final reason for the increase was that the School of the Arts is looking to hire a production manager to consolidate the responsibilities of planning and organizing events. “What we have done in the past… we’ve had staff trying to cover it, we have had some faculty try and cover it. What we noticed was the last three or four years was burnt out, and the inability for someone to manage these events,” Godfrey told the council. 

Currently the School of the Arts is predicting that without the fee increase, the year 2024 would result in a -$137,788 loss in the budget. This factors in a salary of $107,000 for the proposed production manager. 

Following Godfrey’s presentation, the council heard from Joel Herd who speaks for the operational management of the SLWC and the SSC. Currently, the student fees that go into the maintenance of each building sit at $24.34 and $33.58 respectively. Herd mentioned how the tuition freeze last year had affected their ability to maintain their budget. In documents shown to The Review, the SLWC had a net loss of $35,032. 

In total, O&M is asking for a $1.50 increase in SLWC, making it $25.84. The SSC requests a $2.50 increase to their fee, bringing it to $36.08. 

“We could have asked for more,” Herd expressed to the council. “But we tried to do what we could in our budget to see what we could cut and pull back away on a few things.” The reasons given for the increase was primary to cover the mandated COLA increase.  

These proposals are still to be considered by the Student Council, after the council completes the fee hearings on Feb. 1, they will draft the proposal that they will vote to approve. Which will then be sent to President Council, then Board of Trustees, and to the Board of Regents for final approval. 

The next student fee hearing is on Jan. 25, and will hear from Campus Recreation and Student Health Services. For more information on student fees, visit the UVUSA website.