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USG Polytechnic unanimously passes proposed student health fee increase

One more campus must pass the vote in order to put the increase into effect


Jacob Phillabaum, Vice President of Services of USGP, Julia Anderson, President of USGP, center, and James Larson, Vice President of Policy of USGP, pose for a photo on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. 

USG Polytechnic unanimously passed a bill to increase the Student Health and Wellness Fee by $15 per semester increase Thursday night, the second student government body to approve the fee raise.

Student governments on all campuses, including the Graduate and Professional Student Association, are in the process of voting on increasing the mandatory health fee included in tuition. ASU students will pay $55 per semester if three out of the five student governments pass the bill.

USG Tempe voted in favor of the increase Tuesday, while USG Downtown decided to postpone its vote until Feb. 23 in order to get more student feedback. Although the other campuses considered postponing the vote due to lack of student engagement, USGP representatives said they were confident they put forth their best effort to hear a large amount of student voices.

President of USGP Julia Anderson, a senior studying English and history, said her student government conducted Coffee with Senators in the student union where they gave a survey to the students concerning the health fee. She said USGP also sent out emails reminding people about the senate vote and held a forum last week for students to voice their opinions. 

"We did this pretty ahead of time," Anderson said. "I think we had the survey out for two or three weeks now so I think that it was relatively easy to get students engaged. I think that we did a pretty good job with student outreach and we got pretty good feedback overall." 

Anderson said 75 percent of the 80 students who participated in the survey were in favor of the Student Health and Wellness Fee increase.

The Polytechnic campus felt less opposition than the Tempe campus, but Anderson said there was one student that came to the senate meeting to voice his opinions against the fee increase.

"There was one online student who came and spoke about their concerns, just that they feel like when they pay these fees, they don't benefit from it," Anderson said. 

Anderson said USGP has been working with ASU Health Services throughout this year to increase  services on the Poly campus. 

"That was one of our main goals. Currently, we just got a psychologist for this spring on the Poly campus," Anderson said. "We are increasing hours and increasing services like a chiropractor, massages and a nutritionist."

She said the fee will help cover some of those changes that USGP is trying to implement. 

The West campus and GPSA are expected to vote Friday, while Downtown will vote Feb. 23. 

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