Referendum shows organizations’ greed

Students pay more in self-assessed fees than they realize, and now, once again, the fees could possibly increase.

Students with over seven credit hours currently pay a set student body self-assessed fee of $31.25. This fee was not handed to us; we voted on it-or students before us did. Several organizations are covered in this fee, including the Student Government Association, the Student Programming Association and others.

Out of the $31.25, SGA receives $5, and SPA receives $15. The rest is divided between Cheerleading, the Mosaic, KNSU, The Nicholls Worth and S.E.A.L.S. Athletics has a separate student body self-assessed fee of $3.50 per credit hour for up to 12 hours. At most, a student currently pays up to $42 in student-assessed Athletic fees alone.

Beginning Sunday until Wednesday of next week, students with over seven credit hours will be asked to vote on a new student body-assessed fee. This new fee of 4 percent of the published previous fall in-state full-time tuition and fees is approximately equal to $96 for every full-time student as of the Spring 2012 semester.

If passed, this fee will replace the current SGA fee, add a new Veterans’ Service fee and add additional fees to be distributed between the SPA, Cheerleading, the Pride of Nicholls Band, the Mosaic and Athletics. The reason for this is that organizations feel like they are not getting their needs met within the current budget.

We understand prices have gone up since the current fee was last voted on. Things are more expensive these days, so it makes sense to raise the fees but not as much as student legislation is proposing.

When we first look at the new 4 percent fee, it does not look like much. But when you sit down and do the math, as we did, you will quickly learn just how much more they are asking for.

This new fee will rise as tuition rises because it is no longer a set amount, but instead based on a percentage.

Using last semester’s tuition, the new fee, if passed, would total approximately $8 for every credit hour up to 12 hours for the fall semester, which could total up to about $96 for every full time student.

We would go from one fee of $31.25 to two fees-the $26.25 (current student body self-assessed fee minus the SGA fee) plus the $96 fee-totaling $122.25.

This jumps SGA’s individual fees from $5 to about $12 per student and SPA’s fees from $15 to $21 per student. Athletics will receive an additional $63.12 plus the (up to) $42 fee already in place, totaling up to $105.12 per student in Athletics fees alone.

In such a tight economy and with tuition on the rise, students have a hard enough time making money to get by day to day. Now we are being asked to add an additional fee that is more than triple the fee we already have.

And why do regular students need to pay additional Athletics fees? Athletics is asking for more money because they are under threat of losing their scholarships. This means that regular students who already have a hard time paying for their own classes are also paying for Athletic scholarships.

What about our own scholarships? Why are we more worried about the scholarships of a particular group on campus?

It is one thing to raise the student-assessed fees. Like we said before, it makes sense. It probably needs to be done. Nicholls has a hard time as it is, and it would be great if we could help out by covering price inflation. But another fee on top of the ones we already pay that will double the SGA fee, triple our current student body self-assessed fee, and add additional money to the budget of organizations that already receive fees is a bit much.

The Nicholls Worth currently receives $6 per student per semester via the student body self-assessed fee. Our fee money is used solely for printing costs and salaries. We have a dedicated group of students who work to supplement our budget through advertising revenue. Without the advertising revenue, we would not be able to operate. This advertising money covers costs such as computers, software, office supplies, trips, etc.

Before this extreme measure is taken, why can’t each organization try to eliminate unnecessary costs in their budget? Take action to try to supplement their true budget in other ways.

No, we are not asking to get rid of events like Crawfish Day, but is this the only way to begin to solve problems? It seems as though these organizations are operating just fine with the amount of money they have now.

As we all know with the tight economy and prices on the rise, we all have to cut back on things that we usually enjoy. We cannot go out every night, eat fast food every meal or go shopping every day; instead we have to save money in order to get by.

We can not spend our energy worrying about one organization over another when we still cannot keep our own boats afloat.

If an increase in the student body self-assessed fee is the only option and necessary, why can’t we vote on a set amount and not a percentage that will go up as tuition goes up?

This to us seems like a more reasonable solution than the referendum that we are about to vote on.