MSA proposes $35 student services fee

Budget Chairman Jack Blevins: “It’s a lot more focused to what students want.”

MSA Budget Chairman Jack Blevins concludes a presentation regarding the newly proposed $35 student fee.

The Missouri Students Association plans to introduce a $35 student services fee during the next full Senate meeting, on Feb. 8.

The fee covers six different areas. Ellis Library would receive $12, the Counseling Center $8 to provide more staff, and Student Unions $5 to help with maintaining facility and equipment quality. Of the remainder, $5 would go to technology, which would provide expanded TigerWiFi access and more technology in study spaces; $2.50 would go to campus activities such as fall orientation and cultural events; and $2.50 would go to leadership service programs like Mizzou Alternative Breaks.

Students will pay $2.91 per enrolled credit hour, which, for the average full-time student taking 12 credit hours, will total $35 per semester. The fee is capped at $35, so students taking more than 12 classes will not have to pay more.

MSA Senate Speaker Mark McDaniel said in a statement that the fee originated from student leaders’ and administrators’ input.

“This fee has come from months of discussion and negotiation between student leaders and administrators,” McDaniel said in the statement. “Since the failure of the library fee (over a year ago), MSA has been looking to find solutions to give the students what they want at the lowest cost to students possible.”

MSA Budget Chairman Jack Blevins said in an interview that MSA is not the only student organization involved in this effort.

“The initial structure of the fee was mostly brought to us from a faculty sense because they conducted a student survey to get a general sense of what students want to see on campus, how much they’re willing to pay for some of those changes and with that they brought all of their data to student leaders … from different organizations, not just MSA,” Blevins said.

Blevins also said the main differences between this fee and the failed 2015 library fee are that the new fee is more focused on what students want and is not subject to periodic increase.

“We were essentially trying to fix all the library’s problems with this one huge fee, and that didn’t work out,” Blevins said.

According to a pie chart presented at full Senate on Jan. 25, a $12 portion of the proposed fee will be allotted to Ellis Library for 24/5 access to all levels, to specialized libraries for expanded hours, and for maintenance and expansion of learning spaces and resources.

Both McDaniel and Blevins said the services fee and its fund distribution are subject to review by the Student Fee Review Committee.

Within the last few days, McDaniel said that online student feedback on the fee “has been positive.”

The fee will come up in the next full Senate on Feb. 8 as a referendum.

Following that vote, the full MU student body will be able to vote on it in the March general election.

Edited by Emily Gallion | egallion@themaneater.com

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