SA to discuss new fees with Board of Regents

Carolyn DePew

Staff Writer

The University of Houston Students' Association will address the Board of Regents Thursday concerning the increase of student fees slated for the fall semester.

"This forum is about how we feel about what the administration did and how they did it," said SA President Monica Quintero.

The new charges were approved by UH-System Chancellor/UH President Arthur K. Smith in April and have now been passed to the Board of Regents for a final vote.

This meeting is the last and only chance for students to have any input, and the SA plans to convey the students' perspective to the board members and hopefully persuade them to a different course of action during the two minutes they have been allotted to speak.

"We understand the need to raise the student fees," said SA Student Regent Dana Enriquez. "We're not saying we're not going to pay the fees. We just think there is a better way to go about this."

One fee the SA has targeted is the "Computer Use" fee, which supports campus computing facilities open to all students. Until now, the fee was capped at $50 per semester. Now, the administration has removed that cap and will charge $5 per credit-hour in fees.

"We agree with the need to advance our technology, but taking away the current cap ... penalizes students wanting to take the average 15 hours," Enriquez said.

Enriquez added that students often pay extra technology fees for certain classes and the residence halls. Therefore, many students end up paying three or four computer use fees each semester even though they only use one source of computers.

This increase in computer fees comes at the same time as a mandatory state increase in tuition. The SA feels this is unfair to students, claiming they will be confronted with many increases without any warning or input.

"In the unlikely event that the board vetoes the increases, students will get a small refund on their fee bills," Enriquez explained.

Enriquez will ask the board Thursday to consider two alternatives: putting a cap on all computer fees to eliminate the many duplicate fees charged, or staggering the increases so that students won't have to pay the raised tuition and increased technology fees simultaneously.

Quintero and Enriquez both encouraged students to attend the meeting. Enriquez is slated to address the board Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the University Hilton's Shamrock Room.

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