Several on-campus groups have requested to raise their quarterly student fees, including the SURC, Student Medical and Counseling Clinic (SMaCC) and tutoring services. If all requests are approved, the result would be an additional $141 in fees per year, according to Vice President of Student Life and Facilities Jocelyn Matheny.
ASCWU Executive Vice President Kane LeMasters said that the SMaCC and Tutoring Services requests are results of larger numbers of students reaching out for help and taking advantage of the services. The SMaCC is asking for a raise of either $15 or $25 from the current charge of $102.96 per quarter, and the tutoring services requested that their fee be raised from $5 to $15 per quarter.
According to LeMasters, there has been a push in Washington State for legislature that supports state funding for mental health services in universities. He said that if students aren’t alright with the increased fee, they have the option to travel to Olympia on monday, Feb. 18, and lobby for the issues they are passionate about, or simply give the states legislators office a call. Registration for the ASCWU Lobby Day can be found on the ASCWU website.
“Students need things on campus and they’re not just going to form themselves. We’re at a time where health and wellness is being put at the forefront of the student body. That’s not something we can maintain without having proper advisors to help us with that or having counselors or psychologists on campus,” LeMasters said.
The tutoring services office is also in need of more staff, according to LeMasters. He said that they had come to ASCWU reporting that they have had such an increase in students looking for help that they had to start turning students away.
“If that’s [tutoring] something that students are showing they want, then we have to put up for it,” LeMasters said.
Vice President of Clubs and Organizations Bailey Kinker said that the fee requests from the SURC are mainly results of a raise in minimum wage. Kinker said that in 2020, minimum wage in Washington will be raised from $12 per hour to $13.50 per hour. She said that the SURC needs more funding to be able to pay its employees, or they will have to reduce their numbers.
Matheny said that the members of ASCWU are still in the processes of discussing the requested fees, and are not yet ready to bring it to a vote. She said the best way for students to get their voices heard is to attend the ASCWU public meetings held every monday. She said thats where a lot of the meaning conversations on these issues occur, but ASCWU’s doors are always open to those who prefer to speak to them more personally.