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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Guest speakers at the Fall in Love with Tech event. (Ella Schamberger/Staff Writer)
TCU students reshape the narrative for aspiring female technologists
By Ella Schamberger, Staff Writer
Published Mar 3, 2024
Guest speakers spoke to women in computer science in the hopes of inspiring their ambitions in the male-dominated major.

SGA examines proposal to raise student body fee

Student body officers presented a proposal to raise the undergraduate student body fee by more than 87 percent next year at the House of Student Representatives meeting Tuesday night.

The change, from $24 to $45 per semester, would raise about $600,000 over the next four years, said Student Body President Marlon Figueroa.

The fee is included in all undergraduate students’ tuition and funds student government projects. Figueroa said the increase is necessary to sustain SGA’s current initiatives in the coming years without outside funding from the university. While student government currently receives funding from the chancellor and other outside sources, Figueroa said he could not be sure the outside money would always be available.

SGA’s reserve account paid for the 2008 Pat Green concert, which celebrated the opening of the Brown-Lupton University Union, he said. While the concert did not deplete the fund, members of SGA did not to continue pulling from the account, he said.

The biggest change in the budget would be increased funding for Programming Council to pay for campus concerts, he said. In addition, all major campus events, such as Howdy Week and Homecoming, would receive a standard funding of $30,000 each, increased from various amounts of about $20,000, he said.

Alex Collins, Programming Council chair, said the OneRepublic concert this past fall cost about $140,000.

“Amazing concerts like that won’t be able to continue if they are paid for solely by Programming Council,” Collins said.

Figueroa said that with most freshmen and sophomores living on campus now, student government also needed to increase funding for student organizations.

Student Body Treasurer Chase Bruton said student organizations requested $95,000 last semester from the Activities Funding Board, which had only $35,000 to give. With the proposed budget, the board would have $50,000 to give each semester.

Student organizations, including club sports, only receive funding from individual club member dues, club fund-raisers and the Activities Funding Board, he said.

The legislative branch of SGA would also receive increased funding from the student body fee under the new budget. It would include a pooled fund of $50,000 shared between the House’s committees, as opposed to several separate accounts.

Student Body Vice President Jackie Wheeler said the combined fund would stimulate new initiatives from the representatives and encourage them to pursue ideas outside of their committee. Instead of certain committees having larger budgets than others, each would be submit proposals to receive funding from the shared budget.

Figueroa said that even after the increase, the university’s student body fee would remain lower than those at other schools like Rice University, which has a student activities fee of $48.50 per semester.

He said the officers would first present the proposal to the House to vote on after spring break. If passed, it would be voted on in a referendum by the student body the following week, requiring a majority vote before it could move on for approval by the university’s board of trustees.

Figueroa said the amount of the increase was decided by taking the proposed SGA budget of $625,000 next year, then dividing it by 7,000 students.

Wheeler said that’s the number of students who paid the student body fee last year, citing information SGA obtained from the accounts payable department.

This would be the first increase in the fee since 2005, Figueroa said. The student body cabinet has been trying to initiate an increase in the fee for the past two years, but was discouraged by administrators until now, he said.

In Tuesday night’s meeting, the House also discussed the following:

-The House voted in favor to approve four new members for the Activities Funding Board: Chris Wilbur, Jennifer Villyard, Hannah Kunnemann and Topper Sheehy.

-Academic Affairs Chair Carlton Alexander announced he drafted letters to the Faculty Senate about standardization within the plus/minus grading system.

-Dining Services Committee Chair Abbey Brokos announced students would be able to vote on a Market Square employee of the semester March 22 and 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the east entrance of Market Square. She also said the committee was looking into the possibility of moving the dessert station and adding a pasta and stir-fry line in Market Square.

-Student Relations Committee Chair Myra Mills announced an e-mail had been sent out to organizations to gather information for a Froggy 411 Web site. The site will provide a list of services available from different organizations and offices on campus, she said.

-The House passed a bill proposed by Hunter Sprague and the Campus Advancement Committee providing an additional $2046.58 to purchase a Smartboard for the Library Training Room. It will also give $694 to purchase a 42-inch LCD TV for study room B26 in the library. Funding was provided for these initiatives last semester, but the library was not given enough money to cover a warranty for educational use of the products.

-The House opened discussion on a bill proposed by the Elections and Regulations Committee that would allow SGA candidates to create their own voting booths during elections. The bill would also increase the distance within which campaigning is allowed during official SGA voting day events to 100 feet, and forbid campaigning inside the library on voting days. After hearing several amendments proposed by the representatives, the meeting reached its time limit. The bill was postponed for discussion at the next meeting March 23.

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