Student body fee proposal to go before Board of Trustees

A student referendum achieved the required simple majority to move a proposal to raise the student body fee to the Board of Trustees, which will review it for final approval.

Of all eligible returning undergraduate students who chose to participate in the vote, 199 students – about 56 percent of the total 353 voters – favored the proposal to raise the student body fee from $24 to $45, said Marlon Figueroa, student body president.

With support of the students through the referendum, Figueroa, Vice President Jackie Wheeler and Programming Council Chair Alex Collins will present the proposal to the Board of Trustees on April 8. If the increase is approved by the board, it will go into effect for the 2010-2011 school year.

Figueroa said he was confident the vote represented student opinion accurately. He said he was not shocked by the number of participating voters because it occurred on a holiday weekend and because most referendums occur at the same time as officer elections.

“I still feel as confident presenting it to the board because I really do think.this increase is going to benefit every single student at TCU,” Figueroa said. “We got (about) 400 students. That’s a lot more than SGA students by themselves, so we can’t say it’s just SGA that voted.”

The student body fee is collected each semester from undergraduate students who are enrolled in at least nine hours at the university, about 7,000 students. It funds the budget for SGA, including the Programming Council.

The increased budget will be used to pay for more events on campus, such as a concert each fall semester, as well as a $30,000 increase in funding for student organizations and sport clubs, according to the SGA Web site.

Figueroa said the plan to raise the student body fee was something students had requested from him throughout his campaign for president.

“During my campaign I heard a lot of student input, and the reason for this student body increase is to support all of those wants that students have,” Figueroa said. “The plan has been very student-oriented.”

Figueroa said the board will hear the presentation during its meeting later this week, and he hoped to hear its decision over the weekend.