Student activity fees increased

Students may be emptying even more of their pockets soon to pay for their club memberships. The Student Government Association has announced that they will increase the student activity fee for each student every semester, following approval by the Board of Trustees in May. “There were a number of factors that contributed to the proposal: Inflation, increased club activities and membership, an increase in the number of SGA recognized clubs and a shift in work study costs from the UVM General Fund to departments all led to this need,” SGA Treasurer Elizabeth Salsgiver said. The student activity fees were increased from $77 to $82, which was a 6 percent increase, she said. The fee is used to fund SGA recognized clubs as well as to fund and maintain the SGA. The increase in funds were recommended by the Financial Offices of the University, Salsgiver says. Following an increase of about $2 to $3 per year, the current fee has remained constant over the last few years, she said. Some clubs are now charging annual membership fees of over $500, which creates a financial burden on both students and clubs, Salsgiver said She said that she hopes this increase will get rid of some of the financial tensions that clubs and students have faced. While Salsgiver said she believes that this increase may help promote activity on campus, students have said they are wary of having to pay more in order to participate in SGA clubs. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous honestly” first year Dan St. Pierre said. “Students pay too much to go here already, and a 6 percent increase is a fairly significant amount, especially in these hard economic times.” Some students however, believe that the sacrifice may be necessary. “I can see both sides of the argument,” first year Matt Collins said. “Coming up with more money for the clubs could be difficult, but in the end seems like it could be worth it.”