Students may be cutting another check next fall as the university looks into the possibility of yet another way to squeeze out more money from students’ pockets — with little thought of how it may affect the students. The university broke ground in February for a new state-of-the-art Fitness and Wellness Center but because of the budget situation the state is facing, there is no money to fund the maintenance and day-to-day operations of Phase I of the complex.
Now, university administrators plan to ask Eastern’s Board of Regents to impose an additional fee to pay for programming, personnel and maintenance issues.
Students could be asked to pay up to $60 per year with the option of a possible increase after four years. Students aren’t expected to pay the fee until 2004.
In addition, new Athletics Director John Shafer is proposing the addition of a women’s soccer team.
As great as the team sounds, it comes with a price. The price tag of $30 per student per year could be implemented next fall.
Both Shafer and James Conneely, vice president for student affairs, hope to take their proposals to the university Board of Regents meeting April 25.
Additional fees are being forced on students left and right. Just last semester students saw an increase in library printing fees. Also, the Board passed a new tuition policy that will require students to pay an extra $66 for every credit hour taken over 16, which is being reconsidered.
Now, the university is asking students for more money. Money for a building that many students won’t use and for a sports team that some students won’t turn out to support. Currently, the university has a total of 16 sports teams that have low attendance from the university community at competitions. Students at Eastern should be given the opportunity to participate in forums before fees are tacked on to the tuition bill — in fact, it should be required.
While some 1,000 students on campus may have signed a survey agreeing to pay for the use of a building like the new Fitness Center, and while some students support another women’s sports team, adequate student representation is needed before taking ideas such as these to the Board, and certainly needed before the Board implements them.