SGA requests to raise activities fee by $20

The Student Government Association is recommending the Board of Trustees increase the Student Activities Fee by $20 per year to better financially support SGA-recognized organizations. This would mean raising the cost from $170 per year to $190.  Members drafted a letter requesting and explaining the increase, which will be sent to the trustees for their next meeting March 6 and 7 in Los Angeles.

Class of 2015 president and SGA representative Nick de la Canal usually attends trustees meetings, but the junior journalism major is unable to attend the March meeting, despite the trustees’ offer to fly him out, he said. Instead, the letter will be sent and read by the trustees without an SGA member present.

The Student Activities Fee forms the budgets for SGA-recognized organizations. Any money not used at the end of one year is added to the appeals budget for the following year. SGA recognized four new organizations with funding this year, which means the Student Activities Fee will be spread among more groups. 

According to the letter, signed by SGA President Paul Almeida, a senior political communication and marketing communication double major, more student organizations are exceeding their budgets, making the groups’ representatives appeal for more funds.

“While we haven’t run into the issue of not having enough funds to go around yet,” the letter reads, “should this trend continue we fear for the future of the appeals account and all of the organizations that rely upon it.”

If the fee raise goes through, it could add over $70,000 to the budget.  According to the letter, the last SGA-recommended and approved increase was two years ago, for $5 per year. Although there was discussion, there was no request for an increase last year.  

Currently, there is $48,236 in the appeals budget.

As a student concerned with the amount of money it costs to go to Emerson, freshman journalism major Savannah Gardner doesn’t want the trustees to approve the change.

“As a financial aid student, we already pay enough,” Gardner said.  “It’s a good idea, but not everyone’s involved in the clubs and student activities, so I don’t think it’s fair to raise prices for yet another thing.”