Hawkeye POV: SGA should revisit their current plan to raise fees

ULM Hawkeye

It seems every year we hear talk of a referendum to raise fees from the SGA. And, with a few exceptions, those referendums fail.

Some in SGA seem to understand the problem a little bit. They want more debate about referendums and for students to be more informed.

More debate would be nice from the only student organization that has partial control over the amount of money we pay to the university.

Last week SGA passed a motion giving the International Student Organization an extra $1,000 for scholarships. While that may be a worthy cause, only two senators spoke on the matter. It should be noted, that is $1,000 of your money they gave away without any kind of real question.

Students wouldn’t have to pay any extra money because of the scholarship, but it will take away from other programs.

To top it off, the executive board of the SGA thought it would be a good idea to bring up raising student fees again. While most students would only see a $20 raise in fees, the principle of the matter is SGA won’t let it be. .

Students at this school pay two-thirds of the budget already, and now SGA wants to raise fees again. At what point can we ask boosters to come in and make up the deficit? 

These new fees would support athletics and the incredibly underfunded Visual and Performing Arts department. No one is disputing that these programs could definitely use more money, but so could every other program.

But SGA asking for fee raises in a period of economic gloom does not send a message of buckling down under the financial strain.

In the financial climate we are unlucky enough to find ourselves in, with a defunct economy and budget cuts to higher education across the state, everyone is having to tighten their belts.

The Hawkeye is very proud of our athletics department and definitely thinks they deserve everything the fees would help pay for, but asking students for more money every year is getting old.

Asking students to pay more money for things like stadium renovations and better facilities for athletics does not sound like a student government that shares in the financial concerns of its constituency.

Last year SGA wanted to raise fees to put in a water park. The year before they wanted to raise fees for  athletics and VAPA. It failed both times.

With the executive officers of the SGA disagreeing on something as simple as a $500 scholarship, how can they be trusted with millions of student dollars?

SGA should figure out how to take care of the small things before moving on to larger ventures. It’s the small things that add up to cause big problems, especially when dealing with budgets.

If SGA wants more of students’ dollars then they should learn how to deal with the most basic of its responsibilities.

If SGA intends on moving forward with the idea of raising fees, then it needs to try another route. Because, clearly, the current plan has not worked.

Students do not want to pay more money. Period. And really, who can blame them?