New proposals for student fees

New proposals for student fees

The Student Government Association will soon discuss new proposals for the use of student activity fees.

The School of the Arts proposed to use 15 percent of the student activity fee to allow students to attend cultural and artistic events without an additional cost to students.

Other universities, such as The University of Nebraska at Omaha and James Madison University, are suggesting additional fees to cover these events. However, SOTA is only requesting a percentage of what UNA has.

Terrance Brown, executive director of the School of the Arts, said SOTA provides a valuable arts education to students as they work to reach their personal goals. The school encourages a diverse and collaborative environment fostering inclusion and is committed to promoting a greater artistic community.

“With the allocation, we will see an uptake in student appreciation of cultural values in addition to enhanced creativity that can be beneficial in both arts and nonarts educational studies,” Brown said.

Junior SOTA student Margaret Freeman said this 15 percent reallocation is synonymous to athletic events because students who are interested in the arts should have the ability to attend artistic and cultural events free of charge, just as students are able to attend sporting events free of charge.

“This request will allow more opportunities for students to participate in a more diverse palate of artistic and cultural UNA events,” Freeman said.

SOTA released its own survey to get more input from students. Eighty percent of those who took the survey said they would attend these events.

“This impromptu survey was sent to many members of the Greek community and through my younger brother, who is a freshman at UNA,” Freeman said. “However, this survey was also sent to members of the LaGrange Society. Members of the School of the Arts were encouraged to spread this survey around to as many people as possible.”

Freeman said she hopes, with the help of SGA, a new survey will be dispersed in regard to this initiative for student funding for artistic/cultural events so more students will have the opportunity to respond.

The Department of University Center Operations and Event Management proposed 7 to 9 percent of the student activity fee be allotted for the Guillot University Center. This percentage will cover the facility’s programming and capital improvements.

Director of University Center Operations and Event Management Kevin Jacques said the GUC could become a true student union.

Jacques suggested the GUC be a host for more lively events, such as a mid-day music calendar, a partnership with First Fridays or a UNA dining program partnership. He mentioned the condition of the facility and the areas in need of renovations.

“The GUC is a great central spot on campus for students to congregate,” said SGA President Chase Holcombe. “We have some wonderful resources in the GUC, but there is no doubt that the facility is desperately outdated. The building is in need of a facelift. I do believe this is why it is often forgotten about.”

Holcombe said adding more programming in the GUC and giving the building an update would be good for students and all who visit campus.

“I’m not sure I would say this puts a strain on SGA, but it is certainly requiring us to make difficult decisions,” said Holcombe. “Nothing in this life comes without a cost. If we are to move money in the activity fee to fund more programming in the GUC or student tickets to SOTA events something will have to take a hit. We just have to make sure we are moving money to areas that will provide students with the best college experience.”