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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 Senate to voice results of referendum at BOR meeting

With the results of a referendum in hand, representatives from Student Senate hope to convince the Board of Regents to vote against a $20 advising fee at the meeting Thursday and Friday.
The Board is set to vote on the approval or disapproval of an “Undergraduate Student Advising Fee” of $20 to be applied to incoming freshmen, a 2.2 percent flat tuition increase and a new variable tuition plan option.
The advising fee and the flat tuition rate increase would affect only incoming students, and the variable tuition plan would be designated by the percentage change of the Higher Education Price Index, a measure of inflation faced by universities.
Student Senate took a stance against the proposed flat tuition rate increase Nov. 4 with the 2015 SGA Tuition Stance Bill, which passed with 42 voting for, 0 voting against and 6 abstaining.
The referendum, which opened Thursday and closed Tuesday, garnered 5,798 votes, 62 percent of which were in opposition to the advising fee.
“I know the Board of Regents always values student input and I hope that they will side how the students have decided on this issue,” said Speaker of the Student Senate Aaron Mitchell. “About 6,000 votes is a great turnout especially considering that it was short notice. With 62 percent of students voting no, it’s pretty clear that the students are opposed to this.”
Student Body President Joseph Benigno said he doesn’t know what to expect in terms of a reaction from the board.
“This is my first go-around— I don’t have much experience to go on,” Benigno said. “My hope is — it always is — the voice of the students is listened to, but in general I think our board is capable of making these decisions.”
The meeting will also determine the which seal is placed on diplomas. The proposal to put the former seal on diplomas will be included as a consent item. According to an email sent to the student body from president Michael Young, items in the consent agenda are typically approved in bulk without debate.
“In an ideal world, the old seal would be the only seal, but we are very pleased with President Young and the Board’s decision to use that seal for the diplomas,” Benigno said.
Mitchell on the other hand, said it is important that the Student Senate address issues one at a time.
“The most prevalent use of the seal is for the students graduating in December — it is important to make it on their diploma and every diploma afterwards,” Mitchell said. “The Board has been very gracious and receptive in conversation with student government about this issue, and I think it’s important we take this victory and cherish it. But, it’s not necessary time to give up either.”

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