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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students aim to keep tech fee at ‘reasonable price’

    Despite losing a key player in the proposed technology fee increase, which will be up for vote in March, students on a new advisory board said they will attempt to keep the fee at a reasonable price.

    Sally Jackson, the former vice president for learning and information technologies who headed the fee and Internet Technology project, has resigned her position to return to teaching at the UA, according to a memo released by Provost George Davis.

    Although Jackson’s resignation came in the middle of the Arizona Board of Regents’ discussions to increase the $60 technology fee to $120, she said it will not impact the fee increase or the IT project.

    In their final meeting last semester, the regents postponed their decision on the increase due to a lack of fee information and student input, said Steven Gerner, a senator for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

    The regents will vote on the $60 increase in March, but a new student advisory board will attempt to find a better solution for students, Gerner said.

    “”We are taking the opportunity of the delay to work with ASUA senators who are starting the student advisory board to engage in discussions, but what or how it will affect the fee is still unknown,”” said Michele Norin, executive director for the Center for Computing and Information Technology, who is temporarily in charge of the IT project.

    Jackson said the fee increase is necessary, as it would go toward projects such as wireless Internet.

    However, Gerner said students want to find an alternative solution. A campus-wide survey will be distributed tomorrow to gauge students’ opinions of the fee.

    “”The survey will ask students where they want to see the money go, and it will also tell students how much they would have to pay for that kind of technology,”” Gerner said.

    The fee’s exact number has always been an issue, but ASUA is looking to reduce the fee to a reasonable price.

    “”I guarantee that the tech fee will not go over $50,”” Gerner said. “”We are going for what we need and what students’ priorities are.””

    Along with the survey being released tomorrow, ASUA is also looking for people to fill in positions in the student advisory board, which is a way for ASUA to connect students with administrators.

    “”My hope is that the advisory group will be a constantly-renewed source of new ideas for the campus,”” Jackson said. “”The more innovative the ideas from the advisory group, the better, as far as I am concerned.””

    Gerner said they are looking for students who have a fairly good idea of where they want to see tech fee money go.

    “”We are not looking for tech gurus,”” he added.

    The student advisory board will work on a specific five- and 10-year strategic IT plan and will also provide recommendations to the UA administration and the board of regents about funding for technology, according to the UA IT student advisory board Web site.

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