Language change in student senate’s ‘Fee Change 2’ vote

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JULIA PIZZA, News Editor

A last-minute discovery that required changing the language of the proposed fee change on next-week’s ballot called a special Student Senate meeting into order Thursday.

After an hour discussion, the officers came to an agreement to remove the original “fee change one” off of the ballot. “Fee change two” is still consistent in proposing a $4 increase, however there is a slight change in where that money will be routed.

“I want to keep the content the same in increasing it by $4 because we have already been talking to and educating the students on this,” President Dylan Raiman said.

Fee change one would have proposed changing the already existing $1 student representation fee into a new $1 general activity fee. Administration notified Raiman on Wednesday morning that this idea would not be possible.

The administration said that City College already has an “opt-in” student activity fee that is $5 per semester. Because this fee already exists, the student government cannot create its own general activity fee. However, it can still propose to increase the current activity fee.

According to City College Administrative Procedure 5030, the student activity fee supports the student government, provides discounts in the Campus Store and free admission to sports games and campus events.

The student government has never received support from this fee. Upon recognizing the language, Raiman said that Executive Vice President Dr. Paul Jarrell plans to solve this ongoing nuance.

When students vote next week, there will still be an option to vote on a $4 fee increase.

If approved, that $4 would be added onto the already existing $5 student activity fee. Therefore, the increase would be from $5 to $9 per student, per semester. The $1 student representation fee would stay the same.

Though the total student activity fee would be $9, the student government would only receive $4 because the rest will be used to support the same things it did before.

If the students vote “yes” on the fee increase, it will pose as a suggestion that will then have to be presented to the Board of Trustees for a final decision.

“The board has no reason to be against a fee like this as long as the students are in support of it,” Raiman said.

Upon passing through the board, the fee change would not be implemented until Spring 2018. May 3 is the deadline for submitting fee change proposals for the Fall Semester, and the student government’s proposal will not be fully developed by then.

“Even though it won’t be until next year, we are securing a lot of money for future student governments and future student bodies to use for programs and initiatives,” Raiman said.

Controversy arose when student officers at the meeting brought up the possibility that the student government could not receive any of the money, even if the fee was passed.

“We need to make sure that the $4 would be guaranteed to go to student government,” Parliamentarian Sebastian Rothstein said.

Raiman responded by stressing that he would be as specific as possible when presenting it to the board and to the budget committee.  

Amy Collins, student government adviser, shared her concerns with the student government not already receiving part of the money that the academic procedure entitles them to. She offered her support in making sure the money is allocated correctly.

“I assure you that I will do my part to make sure the student senate receives [its] funds,” Collins said.