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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student fee may be raised beyond state cap

This Wednesday and Thursday students will vote to decide whether to increase the student service fee by $8.50 per semester, raising the fee to $150 per student.
The fee, which funds student programs and services such as the Memorial Student Center and Student Activities, can be increased by less than 10 percent without student approval. But because the proposed 6 percent hike would increase the fee to the $150 mark, state law requires that the increase be submitted to a student referendum for approval.
Gabby Oroza, chair of the Student Services Fee Advisory Board, said the increase would help fund salary increases and new programs for the 17 departments that get a portion of the fee which now totals $11.7 million.
“We’re not asking for an exhorbitant amount, and this is to provide services vital to student life,” said Oroza, a senior psychology major.
If students approve the fee hike, the University has the authority to raise the fee until it hits $250, at which time another student referendum would be needed to raise the fee. Fee increases, which are recommended by the advisory board, must be approved by the vice president of student affairs and the A&M System Board of Regents. The fee is typically raised 6 to 9 percent every year, Oroza said.
In 2001, the advisory board had a $1 million windfall when the transportation fee was approved and student service fee money was no longer given to Bus Operations, now Transit Services. That year, the board recommended a 2 percent fee hike, Oroza said.
The MSC is the largest recipient of student service fee money, collecting about $2.5 million. Other beneficiaries include Student Counseling Services ($2.4 million), Student Life ($1.7 million), Multicultural Services ($723,000) and the Student Government Association ($172,000).
Students can vote Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the MSC, Student Recreation Center, Evans Library, the Blocker Building, West Campus Library or online at at http://vote.tamu.edu.

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