Activities and services fees to increase for students

The Student Fee Committee held a meeting Wednesday evening to decide how to divide the allocated budget between the activities & services, health, childcare and athletic departments, and whether or not officials should raise fees.

Dean Henry L. Kirby, associate vice president and dean of student affairs at Florida A&M University, was the facilitator of the seven-person committee meeting.

Brian Perry, 21, a senior bio pre-med student from Jacksonville, is a chairperson of the committee. Other students on the committee include SGA members Alan Ahmadi, Ashleigh Bolar and Dominique Drake, as well as Merlin Langley, an associate professor in the division of research and Phyilis Watkins, the business manager of student affairs.  

Bob Carol, the University recreational director for the past 23 years, came before the committee during the meeting on behalf of the organizations under the activities and services budget.

He discussed the money that is needed for the A&S budget, which includes 44 different organizations.

Carol expressed the need for $550,000 toward the staffing of the new University recreational center.

“Campus recreation serves as a major part of student life and we as a University need to better ourselves to be up to par with other universities, not even just as an HBCU.”

After Carol came before the committee, members unanimously voted to increase the amount of activities and service fees students pay in order to help meet the needs of the different A&S groups and organizations.

There was also a unanimous vote for the health fee to remain the same after the presentation given by Shankar Chetty, who works at the student clinic, and was the representative for the health fee.

“We do not want to increase the health fee that students pay, but we would like to open the clinic for more hours to better service the students,” Chetty said.

Although the Director of Student Health Services or Athletic Director was not able to attend the meeting due to a conference, Carl Goodman, the men’s tennis coach, came on his behalf to represent the athletic department.

Money gained from the committee’s raise of the athletic fee will go toward new weight equipment, the hiring of training aids, new facilities and to assist the four sports that were previously cut at the beginning of the school year.

Committee members said the decision on whether or not to raise the childcare fee was a tough one because it will affect the students who are parents at FAMU as well as the University staff and faculty who use campus facilities.

Reva Myres, who has been the director of the University childcare facility since its establishment in 1987, came to the meeting and relayed additions that the facility could use to members of the committee.

The $20 increase committee members decided to help student parents still leaves the prices of the University’s childcare services well below that of many other facilities throughout Leon County as well as the other nine Universities in the state of Florida.

Although the committee did not meet the dollar amount requested of all the departments, members tried to satisfy their needs during the three hour meeting.

Contact Courtney Henderson at