Student fees support resources throughout UA campus
*Editor's Note: This article appeared in the Daily Wildcat's 2017 Orientation Guide.
As a result of an increase in mandatory fees, students will notice changes in campus resources and facilities this upcoming year.
Per the Arizona Board of Regents, mandatory fees for incoming students and students not on the guaranteed tuition plan total $1,368 for undergraduates and $1,262 for graduates. The new budget will bring increases to the Student Services, IT and Library, Health and Recreation and Athletics fees, totaling about $350.
In a meeting held on April 6, the board outlined and passed the mandatory fees for the incoming freshman class:
- $108 Arizona Financial Aid Trust Fee, an increase of $1. This will support financial aid distributed to those who demonstrate financial need and to underrepresented students.
- $50 Student Recreation Center Bond Retirement Fee, used to pay for the construction, expansion and renovation of the Student Recreation Center.
- $535 IT/Library Fee, an increase of $55, which supports campus-wide internet access, technology and digital library services.
- $150 Student Services Fee, an increase of $70, which will go toward the new Bear Down Student Success District and will fund student programs and services as recommended by a student advisory committee.
- $425 Health & Recreation Fee, an increase of $125, which supports student health services and recreational programs and facilities. The fee will also go toward providing full time students with summer access to the Student Recreation Center at no additional cost. Furthermore, the fee will aid in the construction of the new Honors Village recreation facilities and the expansion of the Bear Down Student Success District.
- $100 Athletics Fee, which is new this year, to support athletics programs and facilities. For graduate students, this fee is reduced to $50 and is optional.
As a result of these fees, incoming students can expect to see numerous changes around campus during their time at the UA. Perhaps the most noticeable of these changes is the construction of the new Bear Down Student Success District, which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018.
“The idea of the Bear Down Student Success District is to centralize all of the student retention, academic success and student service support areas into one area of campus,” said Joel Hauff, associate vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “Incoming freshmen, after
a couple of years, will be utilizing the new services throughout the Bear Down Success District.”
The new Bear Down Student Success District will include the erection of a five-story building behind Bear Down Gymnasium and the creation of health and wellness space.
Also there are plans to connect the UA Main Library, Science-Engineering Library and the proposed Bear Down Gym complex with outdoor landscaping complete with tables and enhanced Wi-Fi.
A portion of the Student Services fee will go toward the new complex, as well as portions of the IT/Library and Health & Recreation fees.
Incoming students, and indeed current students, are already seeing a shift in Campus Rec membership policies as a result of the Health & Wellness fee.
“Historically students have had to be enrolled in summer classes in order to get the automatic summer pass,” said John Lloyd, one of the interim directors of Campus Recreation. “This summer, and moving forward into future summers, students who were enrolled in both the fall and spring will receive the summer membership at no additional cost.”
Lloyd said a portion of the fee will be needed to account for increased operations costs as a result of the new minimum wage, which was increased from $8.05 to $10 per hour this year and is set to increase to $12 by 2020.
“With the passage of the new minimum wage law in Arizona, we’ve been having to plan for all those increased wages over the next three or four years as that law gets rolled into place, so [the fee] is going to help offset those costs,” Lloyd said.
The Health & Wellness fee will also contribute to the construction of another health and recreation facility in conjunction with the new Honor’s Village.
Lloyd said this new facility will be located just north of campus and should open in about a year and a half.
Undergraduate students who pay the new athletic fee will receive free admission to all UA sports events except for football and men’s basketball, while graduate students will have free admission to all but men’s basketball.
Students will still be able to purchase ZonaZoo passes for football and men’s basketball games.
While this fee was decreased from a proposed $300 to the current $100 in response to widespread opposition, the fee remains controversial.
Alexandra Cordell, a senior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law, expressed her discontent with the fee to the board at their April 6 meeting.
“As a student, I highly valued athletics the entire time I was here,” Cordell said during the call to the public. “But I don’t think that this fee should be imposed on all students who do not share that same value.”
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