by Joe Adgie
The SGA lent their approval to a total of $65 of proposed fee increases during Monday night’s SGA meeting, the last of the semester.
The fees that SGA supported were the athletic fee proposal, the technology fee proposal and the health operating and facilities proposals.
The SGA voted against the field house and parking facilities fees, amid sentiment against these increases, a sentiment that was echoed by Sen. Edgar James.
“We need to be clear: Are we voting for the best solution for the university, or the best solution for the students?” James said. “Because their voices are being heard loudly that they don’t want this, and I agree with them.”
James acknowledged that he did what was best for the university, and that “if we’re voting for the best interest of the university then yes, I will approve every one of these increases.”
Some guests spoke at the SGA meeting to discuss these fee increases.
“I, along with a few others, have taken it upon ourselves to go around with a petition on whether people are for or against fees such as the field house,” Max Loudermilch, VSU student, said. “We had about 300 signatures since Friday. A lot of people did not know that these fees were going into place, and I understand that the university communicated with you guys on that pretty clearly, but I think that SGA has not communicated with the student body very well.”
In response, Will Jimerson cited two emails that he sent to the student body, as well as articles that appeared in the Spectator.
Another guest had an issue with raising the technology fee, citing a quote from last week’s SGA meeting.
“(Brian) Haugabrook said last week that students watch about 700 Netflix videos and 7,000 to 10,000 YouTube videos per hour,” Robert Goebel, VSU student, said. “An increase to allow more students to watch videos is pretty crazy.”
As a response, SGA vice president Hassanat Oshodi explained that that was why the internet connection was so slow.
Senator and SGA Chief of Staff Isaiah Smart further explained the reasoning behind the technology fee increase.
“Not everybody is watching the videos, and VSU will also extend the general network that we have on this campus, as well as extending it further to North campus, as well as the Education side, as well as the Southern part of campus a little further from here,” Smart said.
Smart said that the connection points on those remote campus sites would be strengthened by those fee increases.
That sentiment was echoed by the whole SGA, who unanimously voted for the technology fee increase.
The parking fee increase was voted down by the SGA, despite possibilities mentioned by Sen. Matt Cowan.
“If we vote down this bill, there’s going to be a reduction of the bus routes from 9 to 5,” Cowan said. “And there’s also going to be the elimination of the Wal-Mart and mall shuttle routes that we have on Thursdays, and basically you’re going to see a lot more students at the bus stops waiting around trying to figure out how they’re going to get somewhere without using the bus.”
These votes served as a motion of support from the SGA, who will present these to the Mandatory Fee Committee and their chairperson, Russ Mast.