By Ryan Hoefle
A rise in student fees has left some University of Oregon students questioning the choices behind the fiscal decisions of the University. UO administration instituted an increase of more than $300 to student fees that will start in the upcoming fall term to help fund renovations scheduled for the EMU and the Student Rec Center.
UO students could potentially be dealt a 6% increase in tuition in addition to the new fees in the next academic year. The suggested plan will require students to pay for the projects even if they are scheduled to graduate before the restorations are completed, causing some to oppose the proposed increase.
The issue is that UO administration is adding on to general fees that lack the transparency some students are looking for.
“It just adds to this mysterious ‘I Fee’ and all I know about it is that it lets us get into sports games for free,” says Rick Maier, junior accounting major, “I am sure that some of the money is going to other things that I do not use already.”
Other students find it easier to support the rise in cost of attendance since the administration has made an effort to be clear as to where the added revenue from the new fee would be allocated.
“I guess it’s nice to have had facts as to where our money is going to increase and that we will actually be benefiting from the costs,” said Meredith Smith a UO graduate student in support of the administration’s move. But there are others that are not as keen as Smith is to pay extra for their schooling.
“I think it is bullshit that I have to pay for something that I get absolutely no benefit from,” said William Moser, “It is like paying for a sandwich but you only get a promise that the bread is in the oven,” says William Moser, a junior at the UO.
He argues that upperclassmen should not be the ones paying for the new additions that they will not be able to utilize. Moser said that the cost of renovations should be prorated so that the students most likely to use the refurbished facilities would pay for the brunt of the project.
Those in favor say that students would benefit the university as a whole because the new facilities would act as their legacy that would increase the quality of life for future students.
“Since I work at the rec, it’s an advantage for my working community and I think it will open up opportunities for the 25,000 students here” said Aaron Smirnoff, sophomore business major who is one of the many students that benefit from the campus facilities and shares many student’s stance on the importance of amenities provided by the UO.