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Opinion: A Proposal to Raise SGA Student Fee

Nicole Ross, Contributor

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With Sierra Nevada College experiencing a decrease in undergraduate enrollment over the past three years, the Student Government Association (SGA) has had to work with a smaller budget to fund popular student benefits. The clearest example of this was the recent sale of the High Altitude Fitness passes. Due to unforeseen circumstances—an increased number of student athletes making up the student body, and lower enrollment—SGA was unable to purchase a sufficient number of passes from High Altitude, resulting in a quick sell-out time and a long waiting list.

In order to purchase passes, SGA’s budget took a hit of $29,500, equivalent to the total cost of both the annual Halloween dance and spring formal. Because our budget is composed entirely of student fees, if student enrollment doesn’t increase dramatically, it is unlikely that SGA is going to be able to continue selling High Altitude passes without an increase to our budget.

To solve this problem, we are proposing an SGA fee increase from $168 to $218 per semester. The student fee increase would generate an additional $100 per student in annual revenue and would be restricted to the purchase of student High Altitude gym passes. Students who want a pass would be charged an additional $100 each year by SGA, similar to previous years. This would cover the current demand for a gym facility, as there are no current plans to build an on-campus athletic center. Additionally, if the size of the student body should increase, SGA would still be able to ensure the funding is there to support this larger demand from increased student fees coming in.

Students who do not want a pass need not purchase one, but their fees would still increase. This would restore the current $29,500 to the SGA budget, allowing us to increase coverage of other initiatives and events SGA sponsors. This includes SGA club activities, dances and formals, Casino Night, ski trips, the annual senior gift, counseling services by Kelly Root (MFT), annual book scholarships, flu shots from Incline Village Community Hospital, and the Green Council’s composting program. We have made donations to Northern Nevada HOPES, SNC’s Tour de Tahoe, Sonoma County fire relief, the Texas and Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, and funding for Las Vegas shooting victims. The student fee increase would allow SGA to continue this community support while ensuring permanent funding for student High Altitude passes.

The SNC Financial Committee has approved this proposal, and it is currently under review by the Board of Trustees. If approved by the board, the fee increase would be instated for the fall 2018 semester.

This will be a topic of discussion at the Fall Student Forum on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. in TCES 139. Any students who would like to discuss this proposal are welcome to contact me, attend an SGA meeting (every Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. in our office), or attend the student forum.

Nicole Ross is the Student Government
Association President. Her e-mail address is sgapres@sierranevada.edu.

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Opinion: A Proposal to Raise SGA Student Fee