YSU’s SGA to continue pressing for student fee
By HAROLD GWIN
The new president of Youngstown State University’s Student Government Association said the organization hasn’t given up on a plan to have students pay a new fee that would create a pool to fund student organization requests.
SGA will continue to pursue the $1-per-credit-hour fee per semester it had hoped the YSU Board of Trustees would approve for this fall, said Nicholas Meditz.
The fee won’t be in place this year.
It would have had to be included in the 2010-11 budget adopted by the trustees in June, and it wasn’t a part of that document.
Scott Schulick, trustee chairman, said SGA never came back to the board with its proposal, nor did the administration present it as part of the budget.
Nicholas Meditz, SGA’s new president, said he was unaware that SGA was expected to go back to the trustees. It was his understanding that the issue had been presented and that it would automatically be considered by the trustees.
Meditz, a senior finance and economics major from Canfield, said he plans to discuss the issue with Zachary Brown, the former SGA president who spearheaded the fee proposal, before determining what steps to take to get it back on track.
The SGA voted 21-0 last November to ask the trustees to place the $1-per-credit-hour fee per semester on all students beginning this fall.
It would be capped at $12 per semester for undergraduate students and $9 for graduate students. It was projected to raise about $306,000 a year, based on current enrollment numbers.
As it stands now, SGA gets only $31,000 a year from the university to fund student organization requests.
That’s not nearly enough to meet a demand that totals about $150,000 a year, according to the SGA.
Getting more money would allow the SGA to fund more requests and provide aid to individual students seeking help with academic issues such as conferences or research presentations, Brown had said.
Cynthia Anderson, YSU’s new president and former vice president for student affairs, said she supports the fee concept but suggested it may have to be restructured.
A flat $1 fee charged to all students would count against the state-mandated 3.5 percent cap on student tuition, she said.
The trustees did approve a 3.5 percent tuition increase for this fall, and some board members had expressed reluctance to consider the SGA request if it would count against the cap.
Anderson said that issue can be resolved by charging different student levels different fees. For example, freshmen might be charged $1 per credit hour and upperclassmen different amounts. The state won’t count that type of arrangement against the tuition cap, she said.