SFC recommends student fee hike

The Student Fee Committee approved an increase of $6 to the student incidental fee for the 2005-06 academic year, raising the fee to $137 for full-time students.

Students pay the student incidental fee each term, currently $131 for students taking 12 credits or more, which goes to fund over 80 student groups and campus athletics.

Each year, student groups and athletics propose individual budgets to the Student Fee Committee. After a series of hearings and deliberations, the committee determines the funding level for each group and then determines the necessary student fee level to fund the total budget. The budget is then submitted to the student senate for approval. The current projected budget for 2005-06 is $8,171,693, nearly a $1 million increase over the 2004-05 budget.

The fee committee had approved a $4 fee increase Feb. 17 but then discovered that certain budget increases had been left out of the projected total. A $6 increase, not $4, would be required to fully fund the budget.

At the meeting yesterday, the committee examined whether a $6 increase would truly be necessary, and determined that the funding items left out of the original projected total, which included designated reserve funds for the KPSU radio station and a student government recycling program, were "very valid," according to committee Chair Tracy Earll.

"No one felt that we shouldn’t fund these designated reserves," she said.

The seven-student-member Student Fee Committee will submit its final budget, including the $6 fee increase, to the student senate Friday. The senate then has 21 days to approve the budget.

Even with the hike to $137, Portland State has the lowest student fee of any state university in Oregon. Similar fees are $184.61 at the University of Oregon and $161 at Oregon State University.