By Yienessa Warren
Student Union fees, $146. Runner Card fee, $4. Instructional Related fee, $53. Health Service fee, $90. Health Facility fee, $2. Associated Student Body fees, $117. The sum of these numbers – $412 – make up the total amount of student fees that every CSUB student had to pay this quarter alone.
Next quarter, students can expect to pay an additional $15 in student fees. In the wake of statewide budget cuts and tuition raises, CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell has approved a proposal to raise fees. So where is this money going?
According to ASI President and psychology graduate student Hernan Hernandez, “The [increase] will be split two ways, with $9 going towards spirit programming and $6 going to campus programming.”
According to the fee increase proposal, the raise will help increase support of campus programs and student life, and improvement of the CSUB Spirit Program to increase overall traditions on campus and in the community.
Senior communications major Allyson Holder offered an optimistic outlook on the increase, saying, “I don’t think they raise [the fee] without thinking about it.” Holder said she understood the need to increase school spirit because “athletics are important to the school for exposure.” Holder also said, “the social scene is limited because [CSUB] is a commuter campus, so bringing more events sounds like a good idea.”
Daniel Cerrillo, a sophomore political science major, said, “Athletes seem to be the only ones that have school spirit.”
The Athletics Department plans to use extra funds to address the lack of school spirit among students who are not involved in a sport. The fee increase proposal states that the department hopes to build traditions by “creating innovative and dynamic programs to increase student participation.”
Many benefits were listed to break down the use of the funds. The Spirit Program will use part of the funds to “assist with teaching the ‘Fight Song’ and ‘Alma Mater’ to all students.” A Spirit Program Coordinator will also be hired to serve as a “dual reporting line between the Office of Campus Programming and Athletics.” Operational costs covered by the student fee increase include but are not limited to: practice facility charges, head cheer coach salary, and mascot school attendance.
Additionally, the CSUB Campus Fee Advising Committee recently passed a separate proposal to increase the orientation fee for students as well. This means, starting this fall, the orientation fee will increase by $20 from $35 to $55.
The Office of Student Affairs has also created a new program called the Parents Association to engage the parents and legal guardians of new students through events, discounts, and regular updates about campus life. To help fund this project, the fee committee has also implemented an additional mandatory $45 one-time fee that new students will be expected to pay along with the $55 orientation fee.
Some current students do not understand the need for a fee increase. Sophomore communications major Faith Ihem said, “I think parents should be an optional fee. If parents don’t want to be a part of the Parents Association, then they shouldn’t have to pay a fee.”
Natalie Rivera, a senior psychology major, also disagrees with the Parent Association fee. “I have a good relationship with my mom, but she wouldn’t want to come to the campus [for an event]. She just wants to know that I’m doing good in school,” she said.