Organizations need to use new money wisely


      With the start of a new semester comes the ever-dreaded tuition and fees bill.  Upon opening the Student Accounts section of Banner, students must scroll through a lengthy list of charges including the recently passed Student Activities Fee.
      Let’s compare this increase in University fees to possible tax increases mandated by the state of Louisiana.
      In order to make ends meet, a state may increase taxes on its residents. According to Melinda Deslatte, who covers Louisiana Politics for The Associated Press, in recent weeks, Governor Bobby Jindal has been under fire for his belief that a raise in taxes is not what’s best for the state’s residents. Jindal also does not want to decrease tax credits already in effect. In order to help the state budget crisis, however, Jindal may need to rethink his take on this matter.
      Unlike Jindal, the University’s Student Government Association convinced students to vote for a referendum increasing fees.
    Passed in March 2012, the fee, according to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System “will be used to provide additional funds for existing fees, replace an existing fee for the Student Government Association and provide funds for a new Veterans Service.”  Prior to Fall 2012, students paid $31.25 in student-assessed fees. With the passage of this new assessed fee, that charge jumps to a total of $122.25 or $93.50 with student health insurance now being optional. Take into account the increasing general tuition fee and fees for things like the recreation center and athletics and that is a hard hit for those struggling to pay for higher education in the midst of statewide budget cuts.
     Whether students voted for the bill due to under advertisement of the details of the fee, indifference, or belief that the fee is necessary for the betterment of campus organizations, it passed and the student body now pays to keep 13 organizations afloat. The additional fee, whether truly necessary or not, is generated by the students, therefore making it critical that the money be used correctly.
    We hope that the money garnered from the approximately 6,000 students enrolled this Fall at the University is used wisely by each of the organizations affected, which include SGA, SPA, and Athletics. Take into account the needs of the general student population, not just your organization’s members, because after all, the students made it possible for you to have a presence on this campus. Let the student body benefit from this by sponsoring events that take our wants and needs into consideration.