SA Note: Vote on student fee increase to take place by month’s end

Students will vote on a student fee increase in a special referendum election before the end of the month, Student Association officials said this week.

The increase, proposed last year by then-SA President Lamar Thorpe and passed by the senate last spring, would raise the fee from $1 per credit hour to a flat fee of $20 for graduates and $30 for undergraduates per semester.

“It would be basically two times the fee for undergraduates,” said graduate student Andrew Salzman, the vice president of judicial and legislative affairs. He said the fee would not “come into play this year,” if passed.

The Joint Elections Committee, the body that oversees the elections of the SA, Marvin Center Governing Board and Program Board elections set the election date last spring for Sept. 26. This was the last day to hold the election because rules stipulate that referendums must be held within 20 class days of being approved by the senate, Salzman said.

The special election was originally scheduled for May 2, the final day of undergraduate classes, but also during law school finals. Sen. Joseph Henchman (Law) filed a complaint in the student court arguing the election would disenfranchise voters and violate the SA constitution and pressured the JEC to change the date.

The JEC then voted to move the election to Sept. 26.

SA Senate Rules Committee Chair Sen. Kevin Kozlowski (ESIA-U) said the Sept. 26 election date is not definite.

Before the election can take place, the Senate Rules Committee and the full body must pass a special election charter to establish an oversight committee. SA President Nicole Capp would then appoint three students to the oversight committee. Steve Glatter, a senior and Capp’s chief of staff, said that decision would probably come later this week.

Kozlowski said setting up the election was one of his top priorities.

“It’s important that we show that the senate can function in a speedy manner and take care of things from last year,” said Kozlowski, a junior.

The voting would likely take place online, Salzman said, adding that the SA has software able to facilitate online voting and that the voting would be done in a “relatively straightforward way.”

The senate will hold its first meeting of the year on Sept. 10 at Post Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus.

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