Segregated fees have survived. Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal suggested making these fees optional, which would have been the end of most student organizations and other services across campus.
The Student Government Association at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has worked to educate the student population and organize rallies and effective protests.
Jordan Farrell, junior natural resources planning and political science major and legislative affairs director for SGA, said the fight is not yet over.
Although the provision concerning the fees was removed along with 82 others since they were deemed non-fiscal items, segregated fees could still be under threat in the form of a separate legislation bill.
On Mar. 31, SGA president John Peralta sent an email to the student body informing them of an emergency student assembly.
“It is imperative that we organize and lobby against this opt-out proposal, because we have so many students that depend on these services,” said Peralta in the email.
Apr. 14, a group of 11 students and SGA members traveled to the state capitol in Madison and presented their concerns with the provision to the Joint Finance Committee, the one responsible for approving Walker’s budget.
For the sake of the organizations which include The Pointer, 90FM, all student organizations, intramural sports, the Student Involvement and Employment Office, counseling services and student health services at Delzell among many more, segregated fees are needed to fund them.
Farrell helped explain the role of segregated fees to the large group at the student assembly meeting.
He said that if the provision were to go through, part of the problem is that the GI Bill, which helps veterans pay for college, would not be able to pay for the segregated fees even if a student chose to support the services on campus they fund.
The GI bill does not cover any part of a student bill that is not required, so that would lend to the decrease in funding of student organizations.
Farrell emphasized the importance of being prepared to lobby against any legislation that may be proposed at a later time that aims to make segregated fees optional.
He said that even though the provision was removed from the budget and is not an immediate threat, SGA is still collecting letters from students showing support for segregated fees that will be used to lobby against any legislation that may threaten them in the future.
If any student wants to voice their opinions on why the fees should remain or have any personal stories lending to the value the services the funds have provided, SGA encourages people to do so.
Letters can be dropped off at the SGA office in the basement of the Dreyfus University Center anytime through the end of the semester.