Oswego State students have noticed an increase in their mandatory student activity fee this semester.
The student activity fee has risen from $97 to $110.
Matthew Peters, the Student Association Director of Finance, said SA has a $1.6 million budget every year. This money comes exclusively from students paying the SA fee, Peters said.
“The SA fee funds all 200 student organizations and clubs, SAVAC and the ambulances, the Centro buses to Syracuse and around campus, intramural sports, campus recreation, the ALANA conference, the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB) and OzFest,” said Christopher Collins-McNeil, Student Association president. “SA also provides funding support to auxiliary services, the athletic department through WTOP with the broadcast of games and events, as well as funding for programming all around the campus.”
Peters, a junior, said one reason for the increase is the increased cost of living and the current economy. He said the SA fee should have been gradually increased every few years but it has remained the same, causing a larger price increase this year.
Peters declined to comment regarding whether the fee will be raised again next year.
The SA fee is currently mandatory.
“The SA fee is voted on by the student body every other year by referendum where the students decide whether or not the fee will be mandatory for the following year,” Collins-McNeil said.
Peters said students do have an opportunity to opt out of the fee if they fill out a form proving that they intern at least 40 miles away from campus.
To some students, this semester’s increase of $13 is insignificant.
Oswego State student Courtney Ameele said she did not hear anything about the increase. The $13 is not significant to her, however, and she doesn’t know where the money is going, said Ameele, a sophomore.
“Paying a little bit more doesn’t matter to me if it’s for a good cause,” said Adam Jackson, a junior who was the SA senator for Hart Hall last year. “I haven’t heard any negative backlash about this so far.”
Some students are more disgruntled about the additional dollars they are paying.
Samantha Kaye, a senior, was upset when she learned about the increase in the student activities fee. “It’s a little ridiculous to raise it such a substantial amount so quickly,” Kaye said.
Most of the organizations Kaye is a part of are not funded by SA.
“Why should I have to pay for someone else?” she said.
“There has been financial hardship in my family, so it’s difficult to justify these fees,” Kaye said. “Everything I do, I have to think about who’s paying for it.”
Some students question the rise in fee.
“SA spent way too much money on OzFest,” said Kailey Somers, a junior. “I don’t think it’s fair that we should have to pay more money for that. You should pay for what you want to enjoy. $13 adds up.”
SA did not send a notification to students informing them of this increase.
“The Student Association senate voted to increase the fee this past spring semester and SA senate meetings and minutes are public knowledge. The information is accessible by all students,” Collins-McNeil said.
“Students should always be informed when the administration is doing something,” Kaye said. “It’s our school. It’s our money.”