A.S., U.S.U. up summer fees

Lindsay Mills

A fee increase of $104 went into effect for Summer 2005 students in an effort to generate and balance revenue for Associated Students, the University Student Union, and the Klotz Student Health Center.

Following a December 2004 recommendation from the Fee Advisory Committee, President Jolene Koester approved the new fees as a one-time cost for all summer students, regardless of how many sessions they take.

A.S. fees rose from $1 to $41, U.S.U. fees rose from $10 to $64, and Student Health Center fees rose from $8 to $18.

The new summer fee structure mandates that summer students pay 60 percent of the total amount of A.S., U.S.U. and Student Health Center fees during the semester previous, in this case Spring 2005.

The Fee Advisory Committee conducts reviews of all university-based student fees and issues recommendations to President Koester.

“I have been here since 1993 and the (A.S., U.S.U. and Health Center) summer fees have not been increased since at least that time,” said Debra Hammond, executive director of the U.S.U. “The fee was not previously increased because we were trying to be sensitive to other fee increases (U.S.U. renovation fees, state fee increases, etc.), but this is no longer feasible.”

The fees have increased because the U.S.U. is unable to sustain the current level of services during the summer months. In previous years, the fees generated by the fall and spring semesters had subsidized summer term, Hammond said.

“Utilities such as gas, electricity, water, etc., for the U.S.U. average about $36,000 per month (and) about $108,000 for the summer,” Hammond said. “Based on the previous $10 student union fee, multiplied by 7,000 students, the U.S.U. only generated $70,000 for (the) summer. This amount did not cover the utilities bill, nor any other operations or services such as student and staff salaries, etc.”

The $64 students now pay to the U.S.U. go toward general operations, student and staff salaries, and services that both the U.S.U. and the Satellite Student Union provide.

“The Student Union is open to everyone,” said Bobby Rodgers, chair of the U.S.U. Board of Directors. “Someone doesn’t have to be a CSUN student to use it. The services are available to everyone in the CSUN community year-round.”

Some of the services that are offered during the summer are air-conditioned meeting rooms and computer labs. For the most part, these are the same services that are offered during the fall and spring semesters, with some exceptions.

For instance, operating hours have been reduced, the U.S.U. Games Room is not open, and off-campus trips, special events and free movies are not offered.

“In the future, (in) Summer 2006, we plan to offer some student programs,” Hammond said.

Students in the fall and spring will continue to contribute some of their fees to the operation of the U.S.U. and S.S.U. during the summer, but the subsidy won’t be as large, Hammond said.

“The reserves were being depleted,” Rodgers said. “There is less money for programs and the same number of services.”

“I believe the intent of the fee increases during the summer months were specifically for summer students,” said A.S. President Chad Charton. “They, quite simply, are more likely to utilize student services while actively enrolled in the academic (summer) term.”

The $41 paid to A.S. supports the same services that are provided during the fall and spring semesters, such as public safety programs like the Matador Patrol and math and science retention centers, Charton said.

Though this summer has not seen the development of many new summer A.S. programs, A.S. plans on sponsoring concerts and supporting clubs and organizations during future summer terms.

“We have every intention of enhancing those very same programs and services during the summer months, with particular reference to (Student Productions and Campus Entertainment),” Charton said. “Proactive student programming of this scope is not a summer norm.”

Student Health Center fees have also increased, and the facility provides the same services during the summer as it does during the fall and spring semesters. Student Health Center services are available at little or no cost above the one-time fee.

“I don’t mind paying the extra fees, because (if) it can help the person with no benefits, what’s $18?” Rodgers said.