Students may see fee increase

Plans were set into place Tuesday by the University Student Fee Committee to recommend an increase in student fees for next school year.

The committee heard from the Athletic, Health, and Technology auxiliaries as they presented why their programs needed additional funding.

“The presentations gave great insight into ways our school can become innovative and competitive,” said Calvin Hayes, chair of the Student Fee Committee. “An increase in student fees is necessary in order for FAMU to compete in any future endeavors.”

The seven-member committee consisted of a student chair, three student members and three faculty members. The committee voted to recommend to FAMU’s Board of Directors that there be a $.84 increase in athletic fees and $.46 increase health fees.

“I sympathize with any student concerned with a hike in student fees….I too rely on financial aid,” said Hayes, 21, a junior public relations student from Orlando. “I am never for pricing students out of an education but when it’s feasible we have to invest in the success of our programs.”

Athletic Director William Hayes proposed a per credit hour fee for Athletic Programs of $12.07, a $2 increase from the current fee. The proposed fee would generate $3.2 million in revenue for the athletic department, a 6 percent increase from present revenue generated by the athletic fee. 

According to the proposal submitted to the committee, the fee increase would support and increase in student athlete grant-in-aid scholarships, enhance academic support programs, enhance the compliance and eligibility programs, increase support staff and enhance marketing and fundraising efforts.

“We have to look at the bigger picture,” Hayes said. “If we invest in the athletic program we will increase recruitment of top notch players who will in turn generate additional revenue and possibility succeed [in a professional] program like the NFL.”

The Student Health Services auxiliary proposed a $.46 increase in the student fee for the health program. The additional funding would support an after-hour nurse triage, a Flu Campaign, laboratory equipment, and insurance support for students.

“They haven’t received an increase in years, ” said Elise Taylor, a student committee member. “With the rise of health issues on campus like HIV and STD’s we should invest in this program.

Chief Information Officer Robert Seniors proposed a 5 percent increase in the student technology fee.

Franzetta Fitz, director of instructional technology, said the extra money would enhance students’ learning experiences on campus.

“Additional funding would allow FAMU to initiative more smart classrooms across campus and develop paramount distance learning programs,” Fitz said. “Too much instruction time is taken away from professors when they have to try to set up and fix outdated technology.”

Seniors said with updated technology FAMU will remain a top competitor.

“FAMU has a premier track record of being ahead in technology on university campuses nationwide,” Seniors said. “We realize that fees are not popular but we need to invest in technology in order to remain competitive.”

Several auxiliaries remain for the committee to hear from.