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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students favor proposed $250 J-dept program fee

    A group of 23 students and administrators gathered last night to discuss a proposed $250-per-semester program fee for the journalism department, which would take effect in the fall of 2008 if passed.

    The journalism department will be presenting a proposal for the program fee to the Arizona Board of Regents during its December meeting, said John DeDios, a UA alumnus who spoke on behalf of the fee in Room 340 at the Marshall Building.

    “”It will be approximately $43,000, which is not much for the technology that we need,”” DeDios said.

    If the fee is passed, the resulting money will fund new and existing software programs, help to enhance funding for technical staff and instructional operations and could also help provide support for departmental student organizations, according to the Department of Journalism Program Fee Survey Results, which were passed out at the meeting.

    Last night’s meeting was the last of three that occurred throughout the week, and most students seemed to support the fee.

    “”Journalism is moving online, and we need money to keep the (software)

    programs,”” said Lorena Barraza, a journalism senior. “”There is no disadvantage to it, in my opinion.””

    On average, it costs $120 a seat to enroll students in Journalism 205,

    Reporting the News, DeDios said. Costs such as these have begun to pile up as the department expands, leaving administrators looking in different areas for funds.

    “”The money (from the proposed fee) doesn’t go to the salary of the professors,”” DeDios said. “”Ten percent goes to the Office of the Provost, and 90 percent goes to the students.””

    Program fees are nothing new to a campus of this size. Students in the Eller College of Business and Management pay a $250-per-semester fee, and students within the Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture pay a $300-per-semester fee, according to the Office of Admission’s Web site.

    In surveys taken by 286 journalism students in the spring or fall of 2007, 91 percent said they approved of using the fee to expand the department’s instructional hardware and software.

    “”If I were staying, I would vote for it,”” said Meredith Severino, a journalism senior. “”The money the department is given by the school isn’t enough to keep classes and technology up to date, and you need that experience to get a job in the journalism industry.””

    Tuition waivers, if given for academic purposes, will not cover the program fee, DeDios said.

    However, the journalism department has $6,000 in endowments to give to students in need, he said.

    – Kelly Lewis contributed
    to this report. Thanks Kelly Lewis.

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