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

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

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

The price of the Texas A&M experience

The Student Service Fee Advisory Board (SSFAB), a nine-member student board that represents undergraduate and graduate students in developing recommendations on the student service fee each year, recently released its recommendations to the University community. The SSFAB’s findings revealed that an increase from $11.86 to $12.51 per semester credit hour was necessary to sustain the benefits that the fee provides to all A&M students. According to the SSFAB Operating Guidelines, the Student Senate and the Graduate Student Council can consider and provide their opinions on any proposed fee increase to the Texas A&M administration. Though these two governing bodies have now offered opinions, the results remain unclear.
Last week, a simple majority in the Student Senate voted in favor of the SSFAB recommendations. Due to Senate policy, however, a two-thirds vote is required to approve this type of legislation. Consequently, the recommendations were not approved, though no additional legislation was offered to solidify a precise opposing response. The speaker of the Student Senate alone is likely to submit a letter of dissent that will undoubtedly indicate Senate opposition to the recommendations.This week, one vote short of a two-thirds majority in the Graduate Student Council voted in favor of the SSFAB recommendations. Unlike Senate policy though, only a majority vote is required for recommendation approval in the Graduate Student Council. Clearly, the representative voices of the student body are in conflict. The main question that students should ask is, “Why?”
The key issue is the student service fee cap, as defined by the Texas State Legislature. The cap currently sits at $12.50 per semester credit hour. If the SSFAB recommendations push the fee over the cap, a student body referendum is required. If approved, the new cap would become $25 per semester credit hour, with a maximum possible growth rate without student body approval of 10 percent of the original cap, or $1.25 per student credit hour, annually. Increases lower than 10 percent would not require approval of the student body. To answer the previously stated question: short-term gain is the driving force behind the debate over the SSFAB recommendations.
We talk quite a bit at this University about the importance of traditions.
We also talk about legacy. Is it really worth the price of two extra value meals at McDonald’s to jeopardize affordable childcare services or the Aggie Band? Does the cost for a trip to the movies outweigh International Student Services, or the opportunity to study abroad? Should The Battalion or CARPOOL be passed over for the price of a Northgate crawl? The student service fee was last increased in the fall of 2001, so we are in our third academic year without an increase in the fee. What we do by rejecting the student service fee increase now is rob future Aggies of the services that students, past and present, have verifiably benefited from.
The Student Senate has proposed a referendum to be held in April that will allow the entire student body to vote on the SSFAB recommendations.
If approved, the fee increase will go forward. If the referendum fails, we step backwards at a time when we speak so passionately about growth and excellence. As a graduate student who pays nearly three times higher than the cost of tuition and fees for an undergraduate student, I would likely be quite conservative with my vote. Yet it is with great conviction that I support the SSFAB recommendations. The inherent value in student services have benefited so many. Why deny those to come the same opportunities?

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