Tuesday, September 21, 2021

SA session discusses budgets, increases for mandatory student fees

The Student Association session held its fourth session of the semester Wednesday night at 9:15 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge of the Angell College Center.

Three campus departments, the Library and Information Technology Services, Student Health and Counseling Center and Intercollegiate Athletics, took the floor to discuss their respective budgets and possible increases in their mandatory student fees.

Declining college enrollment was discussed at length by the departments as a driving force for increases. The departments rely on the fees to fund a significant portion of their student services.
“So many rules, regulations and restrictions are out of our control”, budget officer Magen Renadette said.

Salaries and benefits, which eat up the majority of funding, are negotiated separately by the state government and labor unions.
“Enrollment is the driving factor,” Renadette said about the rising fees, “to solve a lot of our budget issues.”

The Student Health and Counseling Center proposed a 3.5 percent increase in the Student Health Fee, higher than the 2.6 percent target set in the Higher Education Price Index. If passed, students would pay $213 compared to the current $206. Included in their budget is $22,000 for per diem nurses and providers to serve students when staff are out of work.

Plattsburgh State Library and Information Technology Service proposed a 2.43 percent increase in the educational technology fee. The fee provides funding for library furniture, printing, cloud services and staff training. Despite the increase, PSUC’s rate would remain among the lowest in the SUNY system, according to LITS. If passed, LITS intends to roll out Windows 10 on campus computers, multi-factor authentication and better wireless capabilities in some classrooms and fieldhouse among other improvements.

Intercollegiate Athletics proposed a 2.61 percent increase to cover the rising costs in sport travel, lodging, officiating and transportation. If the proposal is passed, the fee would be increased from $436 to $447.
Combating racial tensions in wake of instances of mishandled racist incidents on campus was discussed in senator reports, including efforts to add a diversity-centered general education requirement.
Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life representative Will Cangialosi, was allocated $1,500 for the organization’s efforts to bring a guest speaker to discuss contextual issues of racism and solutions as it pertains to students, staff and faculty. It passed unanimously.

Additionally, students from campus club Kollectively Inspiring Naturally Kurly Students was granted $400 for their March 31 hair show to assist with funding for decorations, wardrobes, supplies and refreshments.
A trio of representatives from the Organization of Women for Ethnicity, Indian Culture and Entertainment and Global Initiative for Gender Issues were granted $350 for food and refreshments for their upcoming event. An amendment to the request, which would increase allocations to $500, was defeated.

The Student Association will hold its fifth session next Wednesday, March 8, at 9:15 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge.

Email Ken Bates at news@cardinalpointsonline.com

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