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By Dave Yasvinski
The University Students' Council answered to members of the Board of Governors Monday as to why undergraduate student fees are increasing to $169.12.
The USC was invited to make a presentation to the Campus and Community Affairs Committee to elaborate on exactly why the $7.39 increase was necessary before approval by the Board, said Jim Etherington, chair of the CCAC. The Society of Graduate Students and the Masters of Business Administration Association made similar presentations.
"We are the public hearing committee of the Board of Governors," Etherington said, adding he was happy with the way the meeting went and the committee was provided with exactly what it was looking for. "It will enable us to deal with any questions raised at the Board meeting."
Etherington said the one recommendation the CCAC did make was that next year they receive this fee information earlier. He recognized this may present problems, however, because the year end for the USC and the university differs by one month.
Dave Small, VP-finance for the USC, made the presentation and said fee level is an issue for the university because they collect student fees on behalf of the USC. This concern was probably increased by the fact the USC, SOGS and the MBAA all raised their fees, he said.
The information the Board receives is often consolidated and not very detailed, Small said, so he could see the need for elaboration, but he added he hopes the fees are not altered. "We have a bare bones budget. We couldn't cut anymore."
Small said his presentation was very proactive in that it suggested the only way more cuts could be made would be for the university to pick up the cost of some of the things students now pay for.
Michael Rubinoff, undergraduate student representative to the Board, said the presentation focused more on USC-university relations than the fees themselves. "I think the USC had some concerns with regards to the university they took the opportunity to raise."
Rubinoff added he does not intend to make any amendments to the student fee even though he is extremely dissatisfied with it. "I think the USC has to start looking at ways to reduce the fee or at the very minimum, hold the line on the fee. It causes me great concern that they haven't done that."
The USC student fees will now go before the Property and Finance Committee and then the Board of Governors and they are unlikely to be amended, Etherington added.
"The responsibility for setting these fees rests with council council approved them. The Board could ask the USC to take another run at them but I highly doubt it," he said.
The Board will decide on the issue April 22.