“When we set up this fee, we should have had it at the very least had it cover the bond,” said Dan Fox, VP and Dean of Students, in regards to a proposed increase in student fees.
The fees, required by all students, would cover the costs of the increased usage of the Recreation Center and excess funds would be used to enhance Mines Park. If the proposed fees do not pass there will be several cuts to the scheduling of the Rec Center. Maintenance would be deferred and move at a slower pace, and cuts would be made to the programming and general hours of the Rec Center. Dr. Dan Fox, VP and Dean of Students, said that he “did not mean these potential consequences to be threatening.”
Fox, and Joe Trubacz, CFO of Finance and Administration, outlined the fees for ASCSM. According to the pair, the proposed increase to fees will be most effective if implemented in a one-year, straight increase, however, it could be split among two years if necessary. Over the total time period, the additional cost per student would be between $110 and $136.
The current Student Recreation Center fee is $95. It only goes towards paying down the bond used to build the center. The requested fee, at $160, would cover daily costs of the Student Recreation Center as well as continue paying down the bond. An additional 10% of the requested fee would cover additional wear and tear. It would also cover a projected 66% increased usage of the Rec Center.
Currently, Residence Life provides some of the funds to pay down the Student Recreation Center bond. Fox said, “I was uncomfortable with that a couple of years ago, and I have become more uncomfortable with that because it is too big of a burden to put on the 900 students that live in the residence halls, from my perspective, in the sense that they are covering that differential.” The proposed fee would remove the burden from Residence Life.
If the fee is passed, the funds from Residence Life currently being used for maintenance and general protocol at the Student Recreation Center would be used to renovate the traditional residence halls and Mines Park.
The second increase, for the Student Health Center, would increase the fee from $60 to $105. Optimally, comfortable management of the new Wellness Center puts the fee at $115, according to Fox.
The current fee covers a wide range of resources, but the optimum fee would work towards retiring the bond responsible for the construction of the new Wellness Center, as well as maintenance of the dental clinic, student health benefits, disability services, student development, and counseling services.
According to Fox and Trubacz, the Student Health Center and its practices are underfunded, so they wish to fix that with the implementation of the increased fee. A question directed at Fox asked, “Why the student health fee was so far off?” Fox said, “First, we didn’t really know what would be involved with the Wellness Center. We were naïve, we had never had one, so I think we missed a little bit there. When we started looking at the costs, the actual costs were more than anyone anticipated.”
Ultimately, the increase in student fees is up to a vote of the ASCSM Senate.