Representatives discuss fee increases at broad-based fee meeting

Five students attend student town hall

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Department representatives presented data on UB’s mandatory fees at a student consultation town hall Wednesday.

Five students attended. 

This is four students less than those who attended the last broad-based fee meeting in October. Representatives from each fee department discussed proposed fee increases as well as last year’s accomplishments and future plans. 

UB charges broad-based fees to all enrolled students to finance activities for the student body. Provost Charles Zukoski wrote in an email that a “2.52% increase to the Comprehensive Fee has been proposed for 2019/20.” 

Representatives proposed increases for campus life, athletics, health, recreation, technology, transportation, college and academic excellence fees. Departments’ primary reason for raising fees is to cover employees’ minimum wage increases.

Joseph Lewandowski, director of resource planning, said there is no reason for the department to provide exact data online when asked about student accounts’ cent-by-cent expenditures.

“As far as putting a report out there for every cent … I’m not sure what the value in this really would be,” Lewandowski said.

Lewandowski said student accounts proposed a $200 increase in the academic excellence fee.

Health promotions lauded a 9 percent increase in students using their services, despite mental health services waitlisting students. The department plans to focus on promoting “resilience and coping skills” to manage high numbers of students requesting counseling services.

Recreation and intramural services requested a 2 percent fee increase, bringing the recreation fee to $53. Representatives discussed plans to build a new “comprehensive” wellness center. This will offer mental health, wellness and recreation services in one location.

Parking and Transportation Services plans to issue handicap parking permits, implement a motorist assist program and introduce three electric buses as part of a pilot program in the coming year. It has no plans to build a parking garage, as construction would cost $20-30,000 per space.

Student accounts distributed a fee survey, which can be found on the HUB Student Center under My Opinion until Feb. 22. Students can also submit questions and comments regarding broad-based fees to ubstudentaccounts@buffalo.edu until Feb. 22.

Jacklyn Walters is a Co-senior News Editor and can be reached at jacklyn.walters@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @JacklynUBS 

JACKLYN WALTERS




Jacklyn Walters is a senior communication major and The Spectrum's managing editor. She enjoys bringing up politics at the dinner table and seeing dogs on campus.