MUSG looks to raise activity fee

Students may see another increase in next year's bills but not in their tuition. The price depends on an upcoming vote at Thursday's Marquette Student Government session.

MUSG introduced a bill Thursday to increase the student activity fee up to six dollars a year. The student activity fee could be up to $54 for the year.

MUSG members said most of the money will be funneled into student organizations. If the student activity fee is increased, it would constitute 33 percent of the student organization allocations, a six dollar increase from this year. The remainder of the new funds will go to the programming board.

The bill was written by College of Business Administration senior Daniel LaNuez, financial vice president; College of Health and Sciences senior Timothy Lefeber, executive president; and College of engineering sophomore C.J. Hoffman, McCormick senator.

The Student Activity Fee Committee, also known as SAFC, compared about 20 other Jesuit universities' fees to Marquette's before the bill was presented last week. They found Marquette has the lowest fee.

Boston College charges an activity fee of $102 a year and Notre Dame charges $150 a year, according to Assistant Dean of Student Development Jon Dooley, MUSG adviser.

"A majority of Jesuit universities don't have to fund student organizations," said College of Health Sciences junior Brant McCarthy, legislative vice president. "Here, the money's going back to the students."

Last year the number of student organizations increased as did their programs and their requests for funding, according to Hoffman and College of Arts & Sciences senior Emily Rostkowski, executive vice president.

MUSG increased the number of its late night programs and weekend activities, according to the proposed bill.

The student government budget did not increase last year and the fee has not been raised in six years, said College of Health Sciences junior Brant McCartan, legislative vice president.

MUSG allocated less than half of what the student organizations requested last year because of the strained budget.

"It's frustrating not to be able to fund (student organizations)," said Jamie Wu, College of Communication senator and part of the SAFC.

The fee pays for some programs MUSG puts on and subsidizes others, Rostkowski said. All full-time undergraduate students pay the $48 fee annually.

"If you were a student who didn't participate in student organizations then your money doesn't get used," Dooley said.

MUSG will vote on the increase Thursday at their weekly Senate session in Alumni Memorial Union 227.