It has been five years since there has been an increase in the Student Activities fee. While many are pleased that no increases have been instituted in the recent past, inflation and increased student participation in activities demand the Students’ Association Senate’s measure to modestly increase the fee. When the senate last attempted to raise the fee, we advocated a focus on fiscal conservatism from the groups themselves instead of a raised fee. In addition to instability in the SA government at the time, we felt that there was significant wasteful spending. An increase at that point would have been more harmful than helpful.However, since that time, the SA government has shown itself to be more stable, and the growth of interest in student activities seems to justify the $25 increase in the fee. Indeed, over 30 new student groups have been added to the roster of SA-recognized groups, 70 of which receive SA funds. This reasonable increase in the SA fee can yield a great many benefits for the UR community at this time. The potential for expanding support of rapidly growing student activities justifies this measure. Indeed, an estimated $90,000 of revenue will be immediately generated by this proposal for use by SA groups. Additionally, the measure passed by the SA has proposed a new way of evaluating SA groups could aid in determining which groups are still active, a crucial move for the SA government to oversee and disperse funds.The plan for a routine increase each year, however, may lay undue financial pressure on students because the fee will continue to grow even if the number of groups or activities does not. The rate at which the fee increases and the amount of income may quickly overtake the rate at which new groups are formed and discourage any sense of fiscal responsibility. Even if a similar system exists at another university, it does not necessarily make it better. We are pleased, though, that the SA Senate has taken some strong measures to improve the quality of UR students’ experience.



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