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SGA tables discussion on fee increases

by Joe Adgie


Fees could increase, and people are not happy about the changes to commencement ceremonies.

Those were the two major topics discussed at Monday night’s SGA meeting, a meeting that, for the fee increases, served as a preview to next week’s meeting.

The fee increases are a response to decreased enrollment at VSU from 2012 to 2013, according to SGA president Will Jimerson.

“With the enrollment going down, in order for our university to continue to provide the same services for our students, there are some proposals in regards to student fees,” Jimerson said. “These fees range from various topics such as health, parking, student activities and a couple of different categories of these fees.”

Jimerson said that he “strongly advocated” for these proposals to be heard in front of the SGA at next Monday’s meeting, which is open to everyone.

“We know that it’s a very touchy topic for all students, as it impacts everyone,” Jimerson said. “This is what we have to do from a university standpoint.”

The SGA will have to approve each individual fee before these fees are instituted. The decisions will come at the meeting in two weeks, on Nov. 18.

Discontent regarding changes to graduation ceremonies was also discussed, namely the policy that brings an end to early ceremonies – in other words, students would not be allowed to walk early, except for those who received approval for this prior to Nov. 1.

“Being an exercise physiology major, we have internships – just internships – for the summer,” Sen. Amber Martin said. “What our advisors were telling us to do was to march early. That’s not going to be fair to some of the students because they just got advised a few days prior to Nov. 1. Half of the class will be marching in May and half of the class will have to wait seven months and come back in December.”

Another student regarded the change as a waste of time.

“Our advisor was telling us that you may just have one class left so just march early and finish in Maymester,” said a senator. “Now, I have to come back in the Fall just to walk? No.”

The SGA also discussed a Facebook survey where students expressed their opinions on these graduation changes.

Sen. Tamara Dunn said that it was sent to her, but she didn’t know exactly who created the survey.

“I think it came from an international student, because they were upset about traveling and having the degree conferred in the summer but being unable to physically be in the US due to visa concerns,” Dunn said.

Dunn expressed disapproval of the policy that the only degree candidates that will be hooded at Commencement ceremonies will be Doctoral candidates.

“Our program is going to have to plan a separate ceremony, which can create additional cost for families,” Dunn said.

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