Friday, October 30, 2020

Technology fee, career services fee set to increase for 2020-21

The Career Development Center and the Library and Information Technology Services announced they will increase its mandatory fees at the Student Association’s senate meeting Wednesday.

The technology fee will increase from $405 to $425 next academic year with an additional $13 increase for 2021-2022. . While the career services fee will see a $3 increase from $33.

The increase will place PSU’s fee $3 above the $422 average among other SUNY comprehensive colleges for the 2019-2020 academic year. PSU’s current technology fee ranks fifth lowest.

“For a while, I was kind of proud of that.” Holly Heller-Ross, the dean and CIO of LITS told the SA Senate. “We’re not charging our students as much as other colleges are charging their students. But the reality is we then weren’t able to deliver to our students as much as other colleges were able to.”

Senator Saran Kaba asked Heller-Ross if the increased technology fee was because of lower enrollment.

“That’s absolutely one of the reasons,” Heller-Ross responded. “As our student body gets smaller, and, equally, our faculty and staff are getting smaller, the cost for each of us is increasing a little bit. For students, it’s the fees and tuition they might have to pay.”

The technology fee helps pay for network and wireless access, computer labs, Moodle and campus servers, library research databases and software, anti-virus protection among other services.

Kaysha Nair, a junior human development and family relations major, brought up how a journal subscription that HDFR majors relied on for class work was removed after the journal requested $1 million from PSU.

She asked Heller-Ross if PSU would find something to replace the journal, which isn’t paid for by the technology fee, but by state funding, Heller-Ross said, to help HDFR majors.

Heller-Ross responded with, “I don’t have a solution for that right now.”

Instead, librarians have been asked to help students find the next best option for their class work.

“To be honest, I was disappointed [with her response,]” Nair said, “because anytime I ask a question to a board like that or I’m on a committee like that, that’s usually the answer.”

The increase in the career services fee will help pay for CDC services like Handshake, Big Interview, a program that allows students to practice their interview skills, Career Shift and Candid Career.

On top of that, the fee will help pay for three peer career assistants, who will have a combined 12 walk-in hours a week to answer students’ cover letter, resume and job search questions.

It also funds the First Destination Survey, which gathers how graduates are doing post PSU, travel to the branch campus and other CDCs as well as for membership to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Even with a higher fee, the CDC will lose its graduate assistant as well as two peer career assistants.

Two clubs asked for additional funds at Wednesday’s meeting.

The Plattsburgh Black Law Student Association asked for $215 through Additional Allocations to cover 11 sweaters from Finney’s Sports and a set-up fee ahead of a banquet the club is holding. The SA Senate denied its request.

The Senate did approve a request of up to $390 to the PBLSA to cover clothes and props for a fashion show that will be a part of its prison-reform themed banquet that will be held March, 7 in the Angell College Center’s ballrooms.

Learning and Experiencing God was approved for up to $500 through Additional Allocations for its Showtime at the Apollo event being held next Friday in the Giltz Auditorium.

LEGO requested the money to go toward renting out Giltz as well as buying a replica needed for the event.

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