Did you all as Eastern students know that the Student Senate is voting whether to implement a $150-per-semester mandatory student fee this coming Tuesday?
We at The Progress sincerely hope you have been made aware of this and are educated about this fee, as this will affect every single student enrolled in Eastern for the next 20 years.
In case you didn’t know, the proposed fee Eastern wants to ask every student enrolled for is to pay off debt services accrued by a 20-year agency bond Eastern is going to request during the state general assembly in January 2016. The bond will pay for the new Center for Student Life, in which its envisioned that Powell will be renovated and phase two of the rec center will be constructed.
Despite the severity of this fee, we have not seen any publication on it readily available to every student, no flyers strewn about Middle Powell, no booth to harass students as they are walking to class.
With the vote next week, shouldn’t there be more? Shouldn’t we see every student talking about this?
However, that is not the case, several students that we have spoken to had no idea such a proposal existed, even shocked this hasn’t had more attention.
What The Progress is not doing is taking a stand on the fee itself. We are, however, calling for a postponement of the vote so students of this institution can learn about this fee and have their questions and concerns heard by their student senators elected for just that reason, to hear students out.
We understand that this fee has the potential to benefit the university as a whole, but we also understand the student body is severely under-informed about a fee that would affect them every semester. It’s a necessity for students to acquire information and it’s the student government’s responsibility to have that information readily available. We think less than a week is not adequate time for everyone to learn about what this really means for them.
Ranking members of SGA have said there are two reasons for trying to have this vote so early. One, because they want to get it approved in time for the April Board of Regents meeting, and two, they don’t want it to become part of the SGA elections.
However, that gives eight weeks before the Regents meeting and two weeks before the elections. That’s plenty of extra time SGA can use to publicize the facts of this fee and educate the student body. At the same time that is more time for you, the student body to seek out information on the fee and go to your student senator and tell them where you stand, ask questions, and provide feedback if you think it needs to be better.
Student Senate is here to represent your voice so let’s make sure they do that.
The snowstorm that plagued the region last week hurt all of us, but when something like that happens, schedules must be adjusted accordingly (queue professor groans after adjusting all their syllabi). Don’t let Mother Nature be the excuse for students not having a chance to learn about this.
We’re not asking forever for this either, but students need another chance to really have their voices heard. Another more publicized forum, booths with senators at the ready, anything SGA can do to inform students will go miles for the betterment of the student population..
Continue checking back with www.easternprogress.com as we will periodically be posting additional editorials to explain our rational behind this rally. More time, more info.