Letter to the Editor: The proposed fee is too important not to learn about

“All three MSA presidential slates have endorsed the fee — and more importantly, they have asked their supporters to learn about it.”

Every year it seems, we go through the same process for Missouri Students Association presidential and Senate elections.

The presidential slates campaign to Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association chapters. School of Journalism students know what’s happening because they’re reporting it. News about the slates also reaches two other, less well-defined communities: the “social justice crowd,” and the “involvement cult.”

Nobody ever knows who’s running for MSA Senate.

This year is different. This year, there’s a student referendum on the proposed Student Services Enhancement Fee, which, if passed, would bring changes to some of the most essential student services on campus.

Library hours would be longer, with Ellis Library open 24/5 on all floors. The Counseling Center would hire three additional counselors and expand outreach efforts. TigerWiFi would improve due to an increase in wireless access points. Without the fee, the university will struggle to maintain the status quo.

An additional array of smaller benefits would also kick in. Equipment fees for room reservations within the Student Unions would be waived for student organizations, more wireless printers would be added in the Student Center, and new need-based scholarships for Mizzou Alternative Breaks participants would be established.

All of these changes and more would cost full-time undergraduate students $35 per semester, and full-time graduate or professional students $26.19 per semester. For many students those amounts are not a problem. For many low-income students, it becomes a tricky balance of the pros and cons, and we all need to remember that.

Whichever way students end up voting on the fee, though, they owe it to themselves to be educated about it. Enhance Mizzou, a student informational team, has presented to a number of student groups including Greek life chapters and marginalized student organizations. Student governments including MSA, Graduate Professional Council, Legion of Black Collegians and Residence Halls Association have also had presentations.

Enhance Mizzou has also been active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They hosted an open town hall on Wednesday, March 1, and have tabled in the Student Center and Ellis Library.

All three MSA presidential slates have endorsed the fee — and more importantly, they have asked their supporters to learn about it.

For students who still have questions, they can reach out to Enhance Mizzou on social media, or visit studentservicesfee.missouri.edu to learn about the details of the fee. It really is too important not to learn about.

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