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50¢ more for Aggie Blue Bikes, but Fee Board Rejects Other Requests

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

bike illustration from the Hard News Cafe story

(illustration from The Hard News Café)

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

50¢ more for Aggie Blue Bikes, but Fee Board Rejects Other Requests

By Kyle Heywood in The Hard News Café, Monday, February 18, 2013

Student fees at Utah State University are increasing — by 50¢. After a $41 fee increase this year, the student fee board rejected most of the new fee requests it received, but approved an additional 50 cents to support the campus Aggie Blue Bike program.

The fee board, comprised of student body officers and other students, recommended the increase Friday [Feb. 15, 2013] to USU President Stan Albrecht.

“The fee board gives a recommendation,” said ASUSU President Christian Thrapp. “We recommended that we just give a 50-cent increase to Aggie Blue Bikes, which was less than what they asked for.”

Blue Bikes, which allows students to borrow a bicycle for free to pedal around campus, was one of several groups on campus that requested student fee funding. At 50 cents, the Student Health and Wellness Center’s request was the smallest; Campus Recreation’s $5 fee increase request was the largest. Both were turned down. Also asking for funds: the marching band, the Caine College of the Arts, and Aggie Blue Bikes, which asked for $1.75.

“Not only did we reject three of the four, but we knocked [Blue Bikes] down to a third of what they were requesting,” said Jordan Hunt, the ASUSU academic senate president.

Students on the fee board interact with organizations, students and the executive council to help determine which fees will pass.

“The executive committee that I’m a member of reviews those fees before the final vote the fee board takes,” said James Morales, USU vice president of student services. “It is an important step because sometimes requests come from the fee board that the executive board knows other ways to make happen.”

Students will not have an opportunity to vote on the fee increases for next year. Last year there were two fees passed by student body voting — one a $35 increase for campus recreation and the other a new library fee.

“If the fee is new or is over a certain amount of money, the bylaws state that it needs to be voted on by the students,” Hunt said. “None of the fees were new or large enough this year to require student body votes.”

As a member of the fee board, Hunt carefully considers the impact of each fee on student life.

“It’s not about finding a middle ground but finding the fees that best fit our campus,” Hunt said. “I’m not pro- or anti-fee. I find that there are fees that should be part of our campus because it is part of the Utah State experience.

“There are certain things that as students we should support that make Utah State unique. And I’m really happy about the Aggie Blue Bikes fee going through for that reason.”


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