Student government rejects fee

The issue of a fee for capital improvements could come up again in the fall.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University's Student Government Association unanimously rejected a proposal to impose a $50 fee on students to fund various campus capital improvements.
Bob McGovern, SGA president, said all 29 votes cast on the issue during a special meeting Monday opposed putting the issue on the 2006 SGA ballot in April.
Even Josh Hiznay, the SGA representative who came up with the idea, spoke against it in the end, explaining his reservations with the proposal as it now stands, McGovern said.
Hiznay, vice president of financial affairs, told The Vindicator last week that, although a lot of people are receptive to the general concept, they would first like to have the SGA get a specific project with firm cost estimates in place and ask only for money to fund that project.
As the proposal stood, the $50-per-semester fee, which would generate about $1.2 million a year based on current enrollment levels, would be put into a fund to be spent at the SGA's discretion.
The goal would be to use the money to finance student amenities, but there were no specific projects selected.
Assessing a new student fee would have required approval by the university, and Hiznay said the SGA had yet to discuss the proposal in any detail with the YSU administration.
Both McGovern and Hiznay said the idea could come up again in the fall.
Suggests specific project
Hiznay suggested that the SGA, in concert with the administration, could propose buying a specific piece of instructional equipment, such as a projector for every classroom, and present that to students in a referendum with a specific fee request.
The SGA drew some criticism for coming up with the proposal at a time when the YSU trustee board is looking at a possible 6 percent tuition increase this fall.
The student government is actively working on ways the university can trim spending in an effort to pare the size of any tuition increase and so far has come up with about $17,000 in suggested cuts.
Critics of the fee suggested it was contradictory to the ongoing SGA effort to control costs assessed to students.

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