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Volume 2, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

Virginia student government supports mandatory fees

Cougar News Services

As the academic world awaits the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in University of Wisconsin vs. Southworth, another student fee argument has been decided at the University of Virginia -- and the outcome was in favor of mandatory fees.

Southworth was filed by several Wisconsin students who claimed the university's mandatory student activity fee -- which is divided up between official student organizations on the campus -- was unfair because it forced them to support organizations with viewpoints that opposed theirs.

A similar claim was made by a member of the UVa. student government, Justin C. Pfeiffer, who opposed the school's $39-per-semester activity fee.

The student government almost unanimously rejected Pfeiffer's proposal to do away with the fee.

Proposed alternatives to the mandatory activity fee at UW have included canceling the fee altogether or allowing students to designate which organizations they did not want their fees to support.

UW officials, and the school's student government, claim such measures would limit the rights of student groups since they could theoretically have all school funding pulled.

The Supreme Court heard the case in late 1999 and is expected to make a ruling this spring.

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