UVUSA prepares for upcoming student fee hearings

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Student fee hearings are slated for January, a date which is quickly approaching. In preparation, the Utah Valley University Student Association heard a presentation from Marissa King, director of student leadership and involvement, on what to expect and what to do during these meetings.

Student fees are fees charged to students in order to give access to various services on campus such as Student Health Services or the The Campus Rec Center

“Student fees are like the extras on a birthday cake,” King remarked. Using this metaphor, King explains how these fees are used in determining what is charged to students.

Every year, committees meet in order to propose changes to student fees in order to fund or defund certain things. These proposals are then brought to the Student Council for approval and, if approved, go on to the next step, which is the president’s council.

During the student council meeting on Dec. 2, King gave the council a strong shakedown on what will be expected of them during these hearings, saying, “Please prepare in advance [for the hearings].”

The hearings that will decide how fees will look for the 2022-2023 academic year will take place at the beginning of spring semester, Jan. 13, 20, and 27. They will include proposals that department committees have made either to raise, lower, keep or do-away with particular fees.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how fees are being used and figuring out the best balance of fees for UVU as a whole,” said Ethan Morse, vice president of academics.

Student fees have fluctuated over the last five academic years. According to the 2021-2022 fee summary, the 2021-2022 academic year is the lowest charge in five years. There were cuts across the board, and even dropped fees for student computing, which are now included in tuition.

The process for approving student fees starts with the students themselves. All proposed changes are given first to the Student Council. If the proposals are approved, they are presented before the Presidents Council, then the Board of Trustees, and finally the Board of Regents.

Each level requires extensive oversight, and if a proposal is rejected it goes back down to the previous branch for reconsideration.

The Board of Regents is a part of Utah’s governing body on higher education, the Utah System of Higher Education. All changes to how Utah’s higher education functions must ultimately be approved by the board.

All of the student fee hearings are open for students to attend. For more information or to make suggestions, contact UVUSA.