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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA looks at new fee plans

    ASUA Senator Stephen Wallace speaks during the student governments meeting Wednesday to discuss the allocation of student fees.
    ASUA Senator Stephen Wallace speaks during the student government’s meeting Wednesday to discuss the allocation of student fees.

    For students who like to know exactly where their money goes, Associated Students of the University of Arizona has the numbers, right down to the specific dollars and cents.

    Tommy Bruce, president of the ASUA, started off the second ASUA Senate meeting of the year last night by presenting a report on the Student Affairs Fee. The report provided information on the fee amount, when it will be implemented and what the money will cover.

    “”There were 5,111 respondents to the survey last fall,”” Bruce said. “”That’s more than double the amount of students that have ever responded to a survey about a proposed fee.””

    Of the students who voted, 51.22 percent supported paying between $45-$85 per semester, while 40.6 percent supported a fee of between $46-$65. Ninety-two percent of freshman, who will be most affected by the fee since they will have to pay it for more years, voted in support of the highest fee bracket, $66-$85.

    The student survey was conducted in October 2007. Two previous surveys in 2005 and 2006, the building of the Student Union fee and the Student Union fee, both failed to pass.

    The fee will have students pay an additional $20 per semester for the first year, and then $40 per semester the next year. Freshmen will also have to pay an additional “”Break Out”” fee of $20 per year.

    Most of the money collected by the fee will be going to the top five priorities that students voted needed the most attention on the survey. Of the $1,564,141 collected by the fee, $250,000 will go toward increasing food variety in the student union and bringing food prices down to a more competitive level.

    $100,000 will go to Safe Ride, which plans to hire more drivers and expand its hours and service area in order to counter the increased demand.

    “”The average number of Safe Ride calls last spring semester was 240 (calls per week),”” said Sen. Gabriella Ziccarelli. “”There were 280 calls this first week, so we’re already seeing more demand this year.””

    Student union services such as Fast Copy and STA Travel will see $280,000 go to increasing hours for service businesses in the union, while $200,000 will go to increased investment in security enhancements and hiring more crisis support counselors.

    The Senate allocated $399,341 to create new student jobs on campus and supplement existing student jobs with improved wages and hours.

    The student government also approved $50,000 to go to the Graduate and Professional Student Council to be used for trips to conferences, professional research and other travel funding, while $50,000 will be given to ASUA to fund the legal services they offer.

    Financial aid, which always collects 15 percent of student fee referendums, will see $225,000, and $14,800 will go to the university’s operating budget, which always collects one percent.

    A major focus of the presentation was the idea of transparency. Bruce stressed that a key mission of ASUA was to provide students and the general public knowledge of where their money goes to at all times.

    “”There will be a full report on the ASUA Web site,”” Bruce said. “”We want to let students know what kinds of things this fee is going toward.””

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