Student governments to raise student fee $5 for 2020-21 academic year

The fee increase would account for the projected rise in enrollment

The Undergraduate Student Governments have agreed to increase the student programs fee by $5 per semester for the 2020-21 school year. The fee is currently at $30.

The Undergraduate Student Governments have recommended to the University that the student fee increase is implemented across the four campuses. 

Renuka Vemuri, USG Downtown senate president and sophomore medical studies major, said funding clubs has recently become more difficult as the University continues to grow.

"It's hard for us to provide adequate funding for all the new clubs and the increase in student population," Vemuri said. "We don't have enough funding." 

USGD President Yasmin Alvarado, a senior studying public service and public policy, said in an email statement on behalf of the USG branches that the increase would raise the gross revenue of the student programs fee by about $800,000. 

The additional funds would go toward things such as funding student clubs and organizations, offering free flu shots and STI testing, and providing pads and tampons for bathrooms.

Alvarado said in an email that the current student programs fee "does not reach the demands and needs of students." An increase is needed to account for the growth in student enrollment next semester, with the projected enrollment for the Fall 2020 semester at around 136,926. 

The resolution to increase the student fee was first passed by USGD on Feb. 21 after being proposed by Barrett, the Honors College Senator Spencer McClure, a sophomore studying public service and public policy. 

"I brought this up in regard to what's going to happen in our Downtown campus ... with the coming college and new dorm that will be built," McClure said, regarding the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts moving to downtown Phoenix and the new dorm building expected to open in fall 2021.

Initially, the USG Polytechnic senate said during its meeting on Feb. 18 that the campus saw no need to increase their student fee. 

However, USGP President Daniel Pasco, a senior studying professional flight, said since then there have been plans to expand degrees part of the College of Health Solutions to the Poly campus. 

"This will result in additional enrollment on our campus, which is a great thing," Pasco said. "We'll definitely need to have an increase in funding to account for that population growth."

Campuses have used different approaches to gain a consensus from their student bodies about the fee. In a survey conducted by USGD, 64% of the 139 students who responded supported the $5 increase.

"We believe that along with a majority of our students being in favor of an increase in our services, this fee increase would be necessary to see that increase of services for our current students and our students that will come in the future," McClure said. 

As for the Poly campus, Pasco said there have been meetings with student organization leaders as a means to reach out to the student body. 

"There wasn't a whole lot of comments alluding to decrease or increase, but there's definitely interest when you get specific about different initiatives," Pasco said. "There is a lot more traction in terms of engagement overall on campus, which is really the essence of why we have this fee in the first place."

Pasco said an increase would be essential to the quality of student life and engagement at ASU. 

"We have this fee in the first place to promote student engagement and to give students professional development, as well as the engagement activities that they need to feel like they're Sun Devils here at ASU," Pasco said. 

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