MU students fail library fee

After months of controversy, students decided that funding the library should not be entirely their responsibility.

MU’s student body voted to fail the controversial library fee proposed by MU Libraries, according to election results.

The library fee received a 54 percent vote against the fee, according to the Missouri Students Association’s Twitter. The fee needed a 60 percent vote in favor to be implemented in summer 2016.

If passed, the fee would have cost each student $5 per credit hour and continued to increase by $2 each year until it reaches $15 per credit hour in the year 2022. At its peak, the fee would have encompassed 1.4 percent of the total cost of attendance and provided the library with $13 million.

MU Libraries originally tweeted that students voted 54 percent in favor of the fee but the fee needed 60 percent in favor to be implemented. The tweet was deleted when MSA responded that the fee had received 54 percent against.

When asked by The Maneater if this conflicting information is verified, MU Libraries did not know for sure.

The fee, while supported by many students on campus, also received heavy criticism, as some students felt that the administration should not put the responsibility of funding the library entirely on them.

MU Libraries hosted several forums to educate students on the fee. These forums were co-hosted by the Missouri Students Association, the Residence Halls Association and the Graduate Professional Council.

MSA and RHA endorsed the library fee.

The fee would have not only paid for renovations in Ellis Library, but all other libraries on campus apart from the School of Law library.

The fee would have accounted for $20 million to be put toward renovation and a compensation plan for staff, as well as extended hours. It would have allowed for the opening of 40 new positions, plus pay increases for current employees, who have not received raises for nine of the past 12 years. Director of advancement for MU libraries Matt Gaunt, also said in recent forums concerning the fee that improving library funding could protect MU’s ranking in the Association of American Universities.

Part of the reason the fee was proposed involved Senate Bill 389, which capped tuition for state schools at the consumer price index, making any additional costs of attendance subject to potential fees.

Along with the proposal for the fee was the creation of the MU student advisory board, a group of 25 students who would have had a say in the way the fee would have been allocated. Even though the fee failed, the MU student advisory board will still function as a general voice for the student body on library affairs.

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