The creation of a student activity fee has generated mixed feelings among students. The fee, which will be $25 per semester, is effective next fall. This will produce $95,000 that will go toward funding students entertainment, such as concerts, and hiring a part-time position to find said entertainment and of course all the allocations to student organizations SA is responsible for. Our editorial board was split on whether this should be a concern for students or not. So we drew a line in the sand and wrote arguments “for” and “against” SA’s decision to raise the fee.
No one likes being told what to do, let alone forced to give up money. ACU already charges a hefty price for their education, and now they’re asking us to pay more to be entertained.
Previously, a percentage of all tuition went to Student Life and from there SA was given money, usually about $80,000 – depending on enrollment. Now, students will pay a pre-determined $50 a year.
While it is noteworthy that this will also raise the amount of money that goes to student groups and events on campus, it is also going to significantly raise the amount of money spent on concerts that some students may not even attend.
Not all students are going to agree on what is entertaining. Take the Ben Rector concert for example. Not all students know who Ben Rector is or have the desire to purchase the $26 ticket to attend the concert. Of course, the Ben Rector concert is not being paid for by the activity fee, seeing as it won’t kick-in until fall, but it’s an example of how students are still going to be driving to Austin or DFW for the concerts or events they actually want to go to.
Twenty five dollars. Well, 50 if you combine semesters. But $25? Is that really going to make a noticeable dent in a student’s budget? That’s like going out to eat a couple of extra times per semester.
Raising the student activity was a quick and easy way for SA to get the money they need to accomplish the things they promised to students. We honestly would have probably had more concerts and entertainment sooner if the funds had been readily available. Instead, SA had to spend months scraping up donations from all over campus to make it even a possibility.
Not only is the amount insignificant, but the way it’s extracted from you is just as conspicuous. How often has inflation alone increased tuition and yet students still write the checks or apply for the loans necessary? Or how often have unpaid $25 parking tickets slipped their way onto students’ banner accounts without anyone noticing until the end of the semester? Or that lab fee? This money will hardly be any different. And if it’s a decision made for students, by students, then it’s hardly one worth fighting. Most likely, something else beneficial for students will come out of it.