Despite Senate Bill 389, Western students have seen increase after increase of their college costs. While Western’s tuition has not increased since SB 389, Western’s fees have.
The real question is though, where is all this money going to?
There are certain fees that must be allocated toward certain expenses, such as the Max Experience, but even this money may not be used properly. At a Student Government Association meeting last month, it was discussed on the floor that hot dogs and sodas are not being served at all the home sporting events.
Also in relation to SGA, it seems that some of their budget, which is generated by the SGA fee, is missing. After several years of student body growth, the SGA budget hasn’t seen any growth in three years. Where has this money gone?
After yet another year of rising fees, The Griffon News demands better communication concerning student money. This money is, for all intents and purposes, student money. Fees, whether enacted by the student body or by Western administration, are allocated from their inception for certain expenses or additions.
Reasons for recent fees enacted this semester have yet to be communicated to students, nor have students seen any actual additions to computer labs. It appears that this fee was enacted only to maintain current technology levels. While this will benefit students, shouldn’t this be something that tuition takes care of?
The fact that The Griffon News is even asking these questions shows that the communication to students about administrative decisions is almost non-existent. An e-mail sent out prior to fall class registration is not considered a channel, it actually more resembles a warning. What’s the point of even sending out an e-mail to students when you’re going to disregard their voice, as demonstrated by overstepping the student body’s vote on the technology and recycling fee.
Fees are very different than tuition. Students expect this money to be used for specific things, rather than them being thrown into a budget to be absorbed by other institutional entities. The Griffon News, on behalf of the student body requests a report, to be distributed to students, of the fees students pay and what they have been used for in the past three years.
No student at Western can leave without incurring a fee for various things. Whether a student is a business, art or psychology major they pay a fee that has potential benefits, but at this point is Western’s history, students are losing track of what fees go toward what additions and expenses. At this point, it is quite possible that Western’s fees could get as confusing as the US tax code in the future.