Joint Statement of the Student Representatives of the Mandatory Student Fee Advisory Committee
January 13, 2021
As Student Representatives of the Mandatory Student Fee Advisory Committee(MSFAC),we met with the four Faculty and Staff Representatives of MSFAC earlier today to vote on our recommendations for mandatory student fee levels in Fiscal Year 2022.
The ongoing negative fiscal and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic strengthens our desire to keep higher education affordable. Supporting our efforts, Chancellor Wrigley formally charged University System of Georgia schools to not increase the total amount of mandatory
student fees and to push even harder than past years toward maintaining an affordable college experience. The Committee’s recommendations meet both Chancellor Wrigley’s charge and our own goal.
Throughout this year’s Committee meetings, both the Student Center Operations Fee and the Student Activity Fee arose as potential recipients of a fee increase. The new Student Center is scheduled to open for the Fall 2022 semester, following the opening of the Exhibition Hall back in June 2020. A total Student Center Fee increase of $25 is requested to fully open this new building. Additionally, participation in registered student organization activities continues to grow to record-high levels, and the SAF provides critical funding to many of these organizations. To better serve these organizations, and considering the adoption of the new Registered Student Organization Policy, a Student Activity Fee increase $10 is requested.
To hold with our view that the aggregate fee level should not be raised, the Committee worked to offset the two fee increases with reallocation from at least one other fee. Following analysis and discussion, the Athletics Fee was identified as a candidate for reallocation, and a total decrease of $17.50 from the Athletics Fee is requested. We recognize and value the great benefits both students and the Institute receive from the Athletics Department, and we are committed to minimizing the negative consequences from this decrease for Georgia Tech Athletics. Therefore, we propose and ask for support of a staggered increase of the Student Center Operations Fee and the Student Activities Fee over Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 to allow for a staggered decrease of the Athletics Fee over the same time period.
Accordingly, this Committee voted to approve the following changes to the mandatory student fees for Fiscal Year 2022:
- Increase the Student Activity Fee by +$5 to a total of $45 starting Fall 2021.
- Increase the Student Center Operations Fee by +$12.50 to a total of $44.50 starting Spring 2022.
- Decrease the Athletics Fee by -$5 to a total of $122 starting Fall 2021 and by -$12.50 to a total of $109.50 starting Spring 2022.
- Preserve all other fee levels.
In addition, absent the power to make prospective decisions for Fiscal Year 2023, the Committee recommends the future members of the 2021 Mandatory Student Fee Advisory Committee and President Cabrera pursue the following changes to complete the full increase for both the Student Center Operations and the Student Activity Fees:
- Increase the Student Activity Fee by +$5 to a total of $55 starting Fall 2022.
- Increase the Student Center Operations Fee by +$12.50 to a total of $57 starting Fall 2022.
- Decrease the Athletics Fee by -$17.50 to a total of $92 starting Fall 2022.
In the scenario that no fee increase is approved, the intention of the committee is that corresponding offsets from the Athletics Fee not be approved either.
The Committee reiterates our deep belief that the burden of mandatory student fees should be minimized for all Georgia Tech students in this upcoming fiscal year and for years to come. When considering proposals for new student fees and increases to existing student fees, we urge departments and offices to support a holistic approach to funding units’ needs by seeking alternative funding sources or exploring fee reallocation to ensure the overall student fee burden is not increased.
In Progress and Service,
Marc Muehlberg, MSFAC Co-Chair
Lea Harris, Graduate Student Body President
Brielle Lonsberry, Undergraduate Student Body President
Stephen Eick, Graduate Student Representative
Divyesh Gutta, Undergraduate Student Representative
Chandler Thornhill, Graduate Student Representative
Elena Patel, Undergraduate Student Representative
Tolga Ustuner, Undergraduate Student Representative